A Letter To My Nephew Essay

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In an ideal world, prejudicial views regarding one 's ethnicity would be a less detrimental factor in the overall financial success of an individual. This situation has been around for multiple generations and is still prevalent in modern society. For instance, one’s race is commonly used to shape a stereotype of an individual, thus impacting that person’s possible future, most notably one’s financial status as an adult. An example of this can be found within the AP Capstone stimulus articles presented by The College Board. For example, James Baldwin’s “A Letter to my Nephew” can serve as a historical example of how one’s ethnicity characterizes an individual, thus, contributing to the fact that stereotypes contribute to an individual’s future…show more content…
A scientific study done by Claude Steele, a psychologist and provost of Columbia University, concluded that people typically live up to their stereotypes (Steele 2). In his controlled scientific experiment to test one’s natural athletic ability, one half of the participants, who were all white, were already aware of the negative stereotype that suggested that Caucasian lack in athleticism compared to African Americans (Steele 2). Due to this negative stereotype, the Caucasians performed worse than the African Americans. However, Steele counters that if the participants were to be told that they were being tested on athletic strategy, the African Americans, who are stereotyped to be less intelligent than Caucasians, would have underperformed in the experiment (Steele 3). Steele’s study further supports the psychological aspect of the human instinct to conform to society, even if one is unaware of it. The athlete’s performance is ultimately triggered by messages sent to the brain that then impact one’s performance, thus, supporting the notion that humans live up to their stereotypes mainly due to psychological stereotypes. Because of the social environment in the United States, it is fair to conclude that one’s behavior is a reflection of the society he or she is surrounded with, thus, conforming to and fueling the effects of
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