The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Motherhood and Manhood

This program explores how slavery and oppression deconstruct the traditional image of motherhood and manhood for the black man and woman, a dynamic which is clearly defined in characters such as Toni Morrison’s Sethe and Paul D. and Alice Walker’s Grange and Brownfield Copeland. In these works, the black woman, despite having her motherhood turned upside down through the colonizer’s influence, manages to reconstruct not only herself, but the black man as well. Through the power of the matriarchy, the black man must rethink his role and readjust his sense of manhood. Dr. Reginald Watson presents a rationale for how these particular works are fitting blueprints for understanding the social and historical realities of the black male/female roles and the effects that slavery and oppression had on those roles.