The Supremes grew up in times of major social change for both African Americans and women. What challenges did each have to overcome?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 04/28/11
They all had to learn to deal with adversity in some form or another and in the end learn to stand on their own two feet. They had to overcome society's view of their lives and find inner strength to change their own pathways.
Join Date: 04/22/11
It was very surprising to me to learn of the degree of racial prejudice that existed in southern Indiana at that time. I grew up in northeastern Ohio, and there was some prejudice, but ours was more subtle. The blacks had their own neighborhoods, and their children were the majority in their local schools, along with a few poor whites. Whites were careful not to sell their homes to blacks to keep them out of white neighborhoods, but our hospitals were not segregrated. I'm glad the author chose to tell about those times in Indiana, because many people think that type of prejudice existed only in the South.
Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean had to deal with being black AND female...a double whammy. I think that's why they sought to identify themselves with the Supremes, even taking their name. Motown music was hugely popular in the sixties, and black women were gaining success and recognition as singers across America.
Also, women during that time were not accorded the respect they are given today. Only a minority were highly educated and in professional careers, most were homemakers. Some were exploited sexually, like Barbara Jean and her mother; others had cheating husbands like Clarice. It's no coincidence that one of the greatest hits of the sixties was Aretha Franklin's song, "Respect." It became the rallying cry for all women, black and white.
Join Date: 12/07/12
Barbara jean had to deal with the problem of not being able to be with Ray as racism in the country was leading to riots and threats from bigots like Ray's brother. She had the racism of Lester's family who wanted light skinned members. She had illegitimacy, poverty and lack of family as well as the shame of being sexually abused. Clarice had a mother who believed the worst that could happen was not to have a husband. She had a church that taught her to feel she had to stay with a husband who humiliated her. She had to choose between a career and a marriage. Odette was the lucky one because she had emotional and physical strength and the love of parents and a good husband. The novel didn't dwell on racism as it affected her directly.
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