Jarena Lee. Everybody’s talking about her. And with good reason. Though I have written about her before, I feel that her perspective is particularly important through her first hand account. Jarena Lee. Everybody’s talking about her. And with good reason. Though I have written about her before, I feel that her perspective is particularly important through her first hand account.
It immediately stood out to me that Jarena’s voice in the passage was not dialectal. Prior to this point, the only female voice found in Sernett was that of Sister Kelly. However, rather than butchering her own writing by adding dialectal tone, Lee has a more professional and educated feel to her writing. This, however, is an entirely unfair judgement on my part. Sister Kelly may have been equally educated, if not more, but simply misrepresented in order to fulfill a certain stereotype. However, I think it is important to note the role that the autobiographical nature of the resource has on the context of its meaning. Both women also emphasized the role of personal discovery of religion. The effects of religion on both Kelly and Lee seemed to have manifested physically, and with much excitement. This is in stark contrast to the relatively dull professions of faith from more modest but nonetheless devout male church members.
This made me consider a startling thought. Women in faith are not believed to be worthy of exhorting or preaching their beliefs, and their experiences with their own faiths are not treated to be as reliable or authentic as male church members simply due to their maleness. Thus, female worshippers are encouraged to preach and show support for their Lord in more spirited ways. No one would doubt a male churchgoer even if he was perfectly solemn in his professions of faith, but it seems to me that, comparatively, black female churchgoers have to work ‘twice as hard to get half as far’. Not to say that spirited preaching is not an excellent method. Far from it. Actually, wait. Here’s Ernestine Reems kicking butt and taking names.