Skin Stereotypes

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Often times we see the same issues in history repeat, but manifested in different ways. Literature is able to capture the emotions and thought process of a given time, letting you inside the minds of the people dealing with such dilemmas. In the course we read various pieces of literature: Sonny’s Blues, Rectatiff, Cathedral, The Lady With the Dog, Fences and Short eyes, each having individual themes and styles, but all ultimately including the central motif of the struggles effecting the African American community. Not only is this a reoccurring topic in the literature that we read, but it a controversial and present topic in today’s media. Electing our first African-American president, electoral candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson, and…show more content…
In the case of Rachel Doleza the NAACP leader who pretended to be black, is the perfect example of society’s strict norms and quotas that have developed over time. Just because people look a certain way they are expected to act a certain way. Skin color matters because people attach false stereotypes and prejudice. When reading Recitatif I myself attached those same stereotypes and prejudice to the characters. “As a nation, we can do better, but we need more understanding. Skin color is profoundly intertwined with identity in ways that mainstream America often fails to recognize or understand. Physical appearance factors into how people define themselves and how people define each other. In a society that prizes white skin, the stakes are huge: Skin color can be an asset or impediment to someone’s self-esteem, success and even safety. The setting of Recitatif takes place in the civil rights era of America, but the conflict amongst Twyla and Roberta seem to still be occurring today, even so more relevant then ever. Many protestors who have aligned interest were split this year between the phrases “Black Lives Matter” vs. “All Lives Matter”. The peak of the Black Lives Matter Movement included all racial identities, but even still was ambiguously split between African-Americans protesting for Black Lives Matter and everyone else protesting for black lives matter. The incident that split the two sides was the terminology at the…show more content…
Short eyes, demonstrates that each race is divided into subgroups that help identify the bureaucracy of prison. Equivalent to the outside world each race has their own needs and stereotypes that confine them together. This movie demonstrates how the roles are reversed inside of prison. As it is clear in the real world the Black and Hispanic community are the “minorities” but in prison its vise versa. Short eyes are a clear explanation of the hierarchy of prison and how each race is respected due to the crimes of which why they are in prison along with the population of each race. This movie is very similar to a Netflix original called Orange is the New Black (OITNB). This Netflix original series demonstrates the dynamic of prison; how each race sticks to their own race and the reasoning behind the race segregation. The prison is structured in way in which inmates are treated differently due to the crime he or she committed. For example in Short Eyes the Caucasian male “Clark Davis” regardless of being white he was treated worse than any of the other inmates because of what he had done. Clark Davis had raped children, and this crime is what made him get attacked in
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