In the book Kindred the thesis would be, “A black women named Dana was celebrating her twenty six birthday with her husband when she was taken back into time from California to the south on a plantation, while her and her husband were in the past they experienced and had to do things that they were not used to.”
Kindred is about a modern black woman named Dana, who lived in California in 1976 with her husband named Kevin Franklin who was white. Dana was an intelligent black woman who is a writer as well as her husband. Dana was taken from her home in 1976 and was brought back into time in the south in the 1800’s. Dana’s experience in the south was very different from what she was used to. Dana experienced working in the kitchen on the plantation, and doing other slave work. Her husband traveled with her once to Maryland in the 1800’s and did very different work than she did. Since he was a white male he taught the plantation owner’s son how to write and read. While Dana was just as educated as her husband since she was a black woman she had to work as a slave. Although she was a black woman, Dana and Rufus the plantation owner Tom’s son had a special bond with each other. Dana taught Rufus how to read and write, and she would read to him as well.
In the time of Kindred, which was between the 1800’s and 1976 times were completely different and the black woman named Dana shows how she experienced the differences with race, privilege, gender, and power issues. Because Dana was a black woman in the time of the 1800’s she was automatically looked at as a slave, no matter what her education level was. She was not used to the power the plantation owners had over her, and it was difficult for her to have someone always telling her what she could and could not do. All of these issues took place in Kindred but the most common issue in the book delt with race. For example in the book Kevin said to Dana, “ I’m not sure its possible for a lone black woman or even a black man to be protected in that place” (47). In this quote Dana and her white husband are talking about how scared they are for Dana because she is a black woman in 1800’s and they are treated very differently from the time they are used too. In the quote they also mention how it isn’t easy for a black man either which all leads to the issues of race. Although Dana was not used to nor did not like acting the way of a black slave woman had to act in that period of time she felt herself doing exactly what was expected of her because she felt that there was no other way to act without being severely hurt or possibly killed. In the book another issue that was brought up a few times was privilege. Dana’s husband Kevin was a while male and during the time of the 1800’s he did not have any problems with traveling back in time. His life was fairly the same as it was in 1976, but his wife’s on the other hand was extremely different. On the plantation Kevin was a teacher and taught the plantation owners son how to read and write, but Dana had some privilege with Kevin as well. When Kevin was around he would stick up for Dana is some situations. She also had the privilege of reading and writing, which at that time no slave knew how to read or write and Dana wrote and read better then the plantation owners, and they used her to help them learn more, so she had special privileges other slaves did not. Through this book we learned that from one period to another times where very different and when someone goes from one time period to the next it is a change but they get used to things and adapt to the atmosphere. These issues are like the issues that are going on today, society says something towards power, privilege, or race and some believe that is how or world is supposed to be. Race and ethnicity are a part of or culture and we don’t do anything to try to change it, and Dana shows that in the book she goes from being free to being a slave and doesn’t fight it but excepts the way she was treated.
I really enjoyed reading Kindred the book was interesting and kept my attention. Some times I would get confused about the time changes but the book was overall good. It gave me a new perspective on race, power, privilege, and gender issues that I didn’t realize before because I read how someone transferred from one time to the other. I saw the issues in the book and how they relate to what we have discussed in class and it helped me look at issues differently.