America the free, land of opportunity--but only if you fit a specific mold. Slaves, especially women, were certainly not included. Even after their emancipation, African Americans struggled with exclusion, whether it be direct, indirect, political, social or other. James Baldwin, an African American man, contrasts the types of oppression he, and others, have faced in “A Letter to my Nephew” , drawing parallels from slavery to the discrimination of the 60’s. He explains how many think blacks must assimilate into “white” culture, but, in reality, it must be those who think that way who must escape from the mentality of needing to assimilate.
Jean Toomer’s “Becky” continues three key themes that put it in conversation with the Harlem Renaissance and Modernism. The theme that appears as soon as the story begins is the breakdown of social norms. The story begins with “Becky was the white woman who had two Negro sons.” During this time, interracial relationships were outlawed, and black men would be putting their lives in danger if they even glanced at a white woman. Therefore, for people who read this during the Harlem Renaissance, this would be taboo and disturbing. The next theme that connects “Becky” with the Harlem Renaissance and Modernism is the disjointed timeline.
Racial passing is the transition of a member of the African American into the white community due to their outward appearance or biracial features. According to Robert Fike Jr's "The Passing of Passing: A Peculiarly American Racial Tradition Approaches Irrelevance" the difficult situation of people living double lives trying to pass as whites for a permanent or temporary convenience during a time when it was "dangerous to be black, and especially dangerous to be black in a white neighborhood, or white establishment" inspired a number of major authors to write on the subject. Nella Larson's 1929 novel Passing focuses on the amiguousity of identity, and the process in which African Americans "passed" into the Caucasian race to avoid the stigma associated with their African Ancestry. This dilemma is shown through the conflict between the two main characters in the novel, Clare Kenry and Irene Redfeild. Irene Redfield is a sensitive, level headed African
After reading I infer that the Caucasian characters in the book valued separation of class which caused the “Blacks” to be treated poorly, because they have been classified to be lower than the “Whites” as a result of the “Whites” believing they were superior compared to African Americans. “Whites” in the book have begun to slowly stop making laws appointed to individuals due to their race or class. Because of Aibileen doing what she did for her race she has proven that the values of the Caucasian race in the novel could be altered to ultimately improve race relations and help with equality for the advancement of human treatment civil rights for African
In discussing Black English, John McWhorter talks about the theories of the origin of the language. McWhorter talks about how people have made claims that Black English is related and comes from African languages. He also tells how their research on this subject is unreliable and “sketchy.” These people making these claims are outside of linguistics, meaning they practice things such as education and speech pathology. People like Dr. Smith, a teacher at a medical college, suggested that Black English is a mixture of African languages with English, where these African languages have altered English into a new language. Though McWhorter disproves this theory by showing that these “African Englishes” are called creole languages and are spoken in different areas like West Africa and the Caribbean.
Recently, racism and racial discrimination have become a problem of the individual. In Katie Pavlich 's article “America is not racist”, she states: “Is their racism sanctioned by the government and celebrated by fellow citizens? Absolutely not....the individuals who have not corrected their racist views are an innumerable minority roundly and strongly condemned by the rest of society.” She argues that racism is a problem of a few individuals that have stereotypical beliefs of races. Similarly, in “America Has a Big Race Problem”, Nesbit summarizes a study conducted at the University of Chicago: “many Americans still do, in fact, harbor beliefs about racial and ethnic minorities” (Nesbit). This study confirms that racism is now of the individual, as not all Americans harbor these beliefs.
Foster had to deal with the fact that he was denied due process and the right to impartial jury, because the prosecution challenges to strike black jurors on the discrimination against race. He argues that the prosecutions jury selection’s notes shows intent to remove black jurors from the jury and the prosecution’s unreasonable reason’s for go against the black jurors is unconstitutional in the way of corresponding notes. Chatman argues that the prosecution established sufficient justification for going against each prospective black juror and also that the notes were prepared for the Batson
It was a crime for white people to marry non-white people. However, the law was overturned by the Supreme Court, ruling on Loving v. Virginia. Todays, society self-identified mixed race as being equally black and white. The mix race community can explore both sides of their culture. Today’s generation can look upon color and race.
When it comes to white people understanding their privilege, I am more upset that people don’t educate themselves about it. For example, the whole movement and organization of “Black Lives Matter” is to bring awareness of how blacks are being treated by police and how the justice system is failing to protect us. Somehow, ignorant white people felt entitled to bring “All lives Matter” as if all lives share the same struggle as blacks. They don’t understand that it is the exact system of whiteness that shelters them from the challenges black Americans face. Instead of scrutinizing the system that protects their privilege, they would rather add more distress towards the people facing the system.
Rosa Parks The Civil Right Movement was the African-American way of fighting for equality to the whites and it was supposed to be a nonviolent way to protest. Khan academy stated that “After the Civil War, during the period known as Reconstruction, the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments established a legal foundation for the political equality of African Americans. Despite the abolition of slavery and legal gains for African Americans, racial segregation known as Jim Crow arose in the South”. Jim Crow law meant that African American could not be at the same place as the white people. Even after slavery was over people of colored were still being treated unequal to the white people, they did not have the same benefits and rights that the white people had.