Amara Crook Harmon—L202 Major Paper 3 Clever Title Countee Cullen’s “Incident” explores the concept of unprovoked and unwarranted racism through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy. In his short yet powerful poem, Cullen uses a single incident in which a young boy “riding through old Baltimore” (1) is singled out and called the N-word by another very small child, despite having done or said nothing to offend the boy. Although this incident is clearly hurtful, why is this incident in particular so important? Racism during Cullen’s lifetime was incredibly prevalent, and one can without much doubt infer that the kind of racism depicted in “Incident” would be worth far more than the mere sixty-nine words Cullen grants the poem. One may believe this …show more content…
Racial tensions during the 1920s, in which “Incident” was written, were especially high, with a dramatic increase in membership of the KKK and Klan “manipulation of state and local politics” (3), an uptick in hate crimes, race rioting resulting in imprisonment or death for hundreds of black Americans, and the poor treatment of black soldiers coming home from WWI all contributing to one of the most racially charged time periods in American history. Despite racism being a daily and lifelong experience for the vast majority of African Americans during this time, Cullen depicts racism as solely singular throughout the duration of the poem, extending its singularity even to the title itself—“Incident.” So then, given the prevalence of racism at the time, why did Cullen make the decision to limit the experience to one isolated …show more content…
By using sparse and poignant language throughout the twelve-line poem and particularly in the second stanza in which the racist ‘incident’ occurred, Cullen is able to strongly impact the reader in a very short time, guaranteeing lasting interest and
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Tarik Adenwala 7.3 Lit Response An “Incident” that has happen to me, and still sometimes does to this day, is very similar to Countee Cullen. He was just minding his own business when someone decides to budge in and give their racial comments, and to this day this occurs more than you may know. Cullen was called the N word for his skin tone, while I get called a terrorist for my first name and my heritage.
When blacks were being killed, and dumped in the river, when Moody was seven, she thought of the people killing them as an ‘evil spirit’. “It took me eight years to learn what the spirit was,” (Moody, 121) The spirit was white people, there were killing because of the color of negro’s skin. Moody knew it was dangerous to be black but she didn’t know it was even more dangerous to be black and from the North.
The main idea of this entry is about the stereotypes that come along with racism. Also, Brent Staples wants his readers to realize how much colored people sacrifice from their normality in order to fit in with society, in hopes of not being attacked or offended. The author proves this in his entry by mentioning ‘innocent’ behaviors, such as singing Beethoven, that he did in public in order to relief those surrounding him from danger. Moreover, the author compared hikers to the country’s bears in order to provide readers with a valid connection between black and colored people. In addition to that, Brent Staples uses flashback as one of his techniques when sharing with us his encounters with white people, this gives readers an idea of how
The memoir All Souls by Michael Patrick MacDonald is an important work because it is a testament of how one person transcends gang violence and racism. People read about gang violence and racism in the news, but they never think that it is happening close to them. All Souls reminds us how close and real violence can be through its captivating and horrific stories. It reminds us of how bad racial tensions can be. All Souls is based on true stories and commemorates those who died in Michael's Southie family and neighborhood.
In America, most people believe that racism was abolished along with the act of slavery. However, prejudiceness is still prominent as it is expressed in a less violent manner throughout the modern world. As history progresses, countless authors continue to write stories based on both personal and non-personal experiences regarding this topic. From a stereotypical standpoint, the short story, Brownies, by ZZ Packer challenges the concept of racism through the younger generation.
These unjust rules created racial tension that led to crimes being committed towards African Americans, without any repercussions. Thus, fear was embedded into them. For example, in an autobiographical sketch, Richard Wright, a black man, revealed his story involving white people in the thirties. After being physically assaulted by a group of white teens when he was young, he noted that “Even today when I think of white folks, the hard sharp outlines of white houses surrounded by trees, lawns, and hedges are present somewhere in the background of my mind. Throughout the years they grew into an overreaching symbol of fear” (Wright 1).
The poem “Incident” by Countee Cullen shows a dark side in society and it honestly made feel very disappointed. The speaker is reminiscing about his time living in baltimore; being called a racial slur by a kid of similar age as him, eight years of age. Although the incident may have occurred during the early 1900s, it still made me feel quite disappointed with society. A child young as 8 years old does not understand the connotations behind racial slurs. For the speaker to experience this from an early age and coming from a child of similar age is society’s fault.
Although the speaker of the poem insists that pretending to be white was “just” a white lie, Tretheway uses irony to show that these lies were indeed detrimental to both the speaker and her society. By telling these “innocent” white lies, the speaker is denying her own racial identity. Instead of accepting her bi-racial heritage she is ignoring her black ancestry and preventing herself from developing a mature personal identity. Her lies are also damaging to her society. By denying her black identity, the speaker propagates the institution of racial segregation and prejudice.
He and his friends were just hanging out, playing around, and he was dared to talk to Carolyn Bryant, a white woman. Now Emmett, he wasn’t just an “ordinary” kid. He was black. And for some reason, the color of his skin makes him less of a person. If a white kid had done the same thing, it would’ve been regarded as a joke, the kid wouldn’t have been punished, he would’ve gone home like nothing happened.
Using symbols, and imagery, Eudora Welty demonstrates the perseverance of african americans in her short story “A Worn Path”. As the most apparent example of a communicative dimension of racism in the short story, Welty uses the symbol of the racist hunter, and protagonist Phoenix’s response to his discrimination, to display african american persistence. The hunter’s attitude towards Phoenix is a prominent example of discrimination. The hunter exclaims, “I know you old colored people!
The novel ‘Jasper Jones’ by Craig Silvey is centred around a young man named Charlie Bucktin living in the little Australian town of Corrigan in the late 1960 's. Charlie is presented with the issues of racial prejudice, shamefulness, and moral dishonesty. He is tested to address the idealism of right from wrong and acknowledges that the law doesn 't generally maintain equity. The thoughts are depicted through Silvey 's utilization of story traditions which are to either challenge or reinforce our values, states of mind and convictions on the issues brought before us. The 1960 's was an extremely dull period for numerous individuals whose race was recognizably unique - different to that of the “white” population.
The rhetorical strategies and stylistic choices used in paragraphs one through three of Brent Staples’ essay, “Just Walk On By,” and paragraphs nine through ten of Judith Ortiz Cofer’s essay, “The Myth of the Latin Woman,” are all used to describe the authors’ experiences with racism. However, the individual methods they use differ in the scope and the detail of the events they describe. Staples describes his experiences with racism he had over an entire year, while Cofer describes a single event in much greater detail. This difference results in readers of Staples’ essay gaining an understanding of how widespread of a problem racism is, and readers of Cofer’s essay gaining an in depth understanding of how just how awful dealing with racism can be.
The major thesis in this book, are broken down into two components. The first is how we define racism, and the impact that definition has on how we see and understand racism. Dr. Beverly Tatum chooses to use the definition given by “David Wellman that defines racism as a system of advantages based on race” (1470). This definition of racism helps to establish Dr. Tatum’s theories of racial injustice and the advantages either willingly or unwillingly that white privilege plays in our society today. The second major thesis in this book is the significant role that a racial identity has in our society.
Cassie Logan, the central protagonist of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, has, all her life, been shown confidence, love, and pride in herself, her history, and, most importantly , her family. During this year, though she is only nine years old, Cassie is shown the real world of cruel racism and supposed white superiority. Many people treat blacks as if they are inferior to whites, such as Miss Crocker, the Night Men, and Lillian Jean Simms. These people have specifically impacted dark-skinned Cassie; they have tried to degrade her, and destroy her pride and confidence. Throughout my essay I will be discussing how the characters listed above have tried to reduce Cassie’s worth--only because of her skin color-- and if they have succeeded or not.
This critical analysis will try and dig some aspect of race being put into play in many of the events of the Southern Night--the first part of two. In this analysis report, I will cover some actions Richard did, what he didn’t and