In the film, Sam White and Lionel Higgins were struggling with identity. White was bi-racial and identified herself to be black than white while Higgins was struggling with his sexual orientation. White exclaimed that she was “tired of being everyone’s angry black women.” Thomas notes that those who fought the system, especially if they were women, were often perceived as “angry women of colour… when [people were confronted with being] racist.” Thomas also notes that white people have the “immediate luxury” of being heard when they speak. Evidently, the Dear White People radio show exists because White wanted to be heard. As Matsuda points out, all free speech must be absolutely protected.
Her physical deformity is her “ugliness”, a perception that is shared by the community and that forms the girl’s own identity. Pecola Breedlove is a young African American girl coming of age during the 1940s. She yearns to be respected and recognised by her own people as well as in a world that discards and diminishes the importance of the members of her own race and outlines magnificence according to an Anglo Saxon traditional touchstone. In The Bluest Eye, Pecola is wanting for beauty and her identity for her survival is through illusionary assimilation into the beauty ideals of the white world. She wants not only to be beautiful but also some kind of an ideal of beauty for other girls.
The feeling of self-hatred was dangerous for their healthy development. Margret Walker rightly observed that : With segregation the white child was educated to regard race as more important than humanity, and the black child was educated to regard a white world as superior to his own. And thus, taught to hate himself. (Walker, Margret, 49) The protagonist of Native Son, Bigger Thomas lives in a slum area of Chicago’s ‘Black-Belt’. Dey Manak Kumar rightly observes :
Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples discusses the relevant issues of racial bias and how prejudice against people of color has embedded minds, as it demonstrates the importance of being aware of how we conceive others. Staples uses a contrasting element of race by introducing a white female and a black male. He uses his experiences and other people of colour to display the struggles of racism they face everyday. Staples reveals how people are prejudice against appearance, despite the importance of individuality of people and being impartial regardless of someone 's skin or looks. The story begins with Staples describing his first experience frightening a white women due to the colour of his skin.
An African American–centered, Black feminist perspective clarifies why the African American experience may run counter to the theoretical principles of self-esteem. The principle of reflected judgments assumes that Blacks’ relevant others are Whites. Under this principle, Blacks would not only have to be aware of the negative attitudes that whites have for them, but they would have to accept them, consider them significant, and believe them to be personally relevant. Whites do not contribute significantly to the formation of Black self-esteem. Self-esteem is developed in immediate interpersonal environments.
If identity is equal to body, as Cynthia Dobbs argues in “Tony Morison’s Beloved: Bodies Returned, Modernism Revisited”, and whites equate blackness to body, as Sima Farshid, professor of English at university of Karaj Azad, claims, then whites thought blacks to be despicable, worthless, intelligently incapable, and sexual proactive. Therefore, and thirdly, the psychological consequences of these white ideals depleted black sense of self-worth and ultimately their identity. Hence, Blacks (embodied in Beloved) were forced to repress trauma erected from white dominant culture which caused them a lack in self-indemnity. The characters in Beloved, particularly, Sethe, Paul D, and Beloved learn what it meant to be black by challenging previous notations that they belonged not to themselves but to the
In the essay, “A Genealogy of Modern Racism”, the author Dr. Cornel West discusses racism in depth, while conveying why whites feel this sense of superiority. We learn through his discussion that whites have been forced to treat black harshly due to the knowledge that was given to them about the aesthetics of beauty and civility. This knowledge that was bestowed on the whites in the modern West, taught them that they were superior to all races tat did not emulate the norms of whites. According to Dr. West the very idea that blacks were even human beings is a concept that was a “relatively new discovery of the modern West”, and that equality of beauty, culture, and intellect in blacks remains problematic and controversial in intellectual circles
Colette Guillaumin 's (1999) explores these complexities associated with racism in her book section, “I Know it’s Not Nice, But . . .” The Changing Face of “Race,” through which not only does she attempt to answer these convoluted problems but also explores their origins and their unfading consequences on society. To better understand the relevance of Guillaumin’s (1999) claims, this paper will compare her views against one of the most pressing problems in the education system of the USA; racism in schools. The notion of racism being experienced in schools lends support to her claim that Racism is a “de facto” (Guillaumin, 1999, p.45) notion ingrained within human brains.
Channsin Berry and Bill Duke, who are both Black men, the focus is on how the issue of Eurocentric beauty standards, or more specifically colorism, effects the Black community. Colorism is defined to be the “prejudice or discrimination based on the relative lightness or darkness of the skin” (Dark Girls). In this case, lightness is preferred while darkness is not. According to Matthew Shenoda, Assistant Provost for Equity and Diversity at the California Institution of the Arts, it is a concept that has its roots in years of White colonization and slavery (Dark Girls). When White people took control of masses of people, a sort of cultural invasion occurred and because the people were being taught that the colonizers are superior, they started to change their sense of beauty, intelligence, identity, and superiority with whiteness.
The theory of double consciousness is the idea that the African American must navigate the voyages of life from within a form of “two-ness” (2), because he is both man, and black. The Bluest Eyes open with an anecdote of Dick and Jane to show how racism destroys the mental stability of black people. It equates whites with success and happiness while blacks with poverty and unhappiness. This traumatises the minds of Blacks and they begin to dislike their own heritage and skin colour in the white world of Dick and Jane.