Within the context of African American literature, there is a common portrayal of a self-conscious narrator who takes on a quest for his or her own self-definition. This portrayal is frequently led by the so-called mulatto, a character of mixed background who is passing and has this ability to be able to cross over the coloured line to the white side. However, this white passing comes with a heavy internal conflict and this struggle for self-identity is captured in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. James Weldon Johnson epitomizes the struggles that a mixed-race protagonist would experience as he crosses the social boundary from the coloured side to the white side. Through this portrayal of a mixed race coloured man, Johnson is able to portray two well established literary troupes within African American literature: the tragic mulatto and the ex-slave narrative.
In the reading Just Walk on By by Brent Staples, the topic of racial stereotypes surfaces from the man who gets racially profiled quite often as he explains his personal experiences. The author bluntly tries to pass the message that racially judging people is wrong and explaining how it makes the other party ,african americans, feel. When analyzing Staples’ message his rhetorical strategies play a huge role into how his message is perceived. He uses influential diction allowing each word to give an impact unmatched by any white man who tried to convey a black man’s thought process. Staples also appeals to his credibility with the obvious observation that he is a black man talking about his real life experiences.
The most accurate representation that we can draw between the paternal influence upon Huck is how he comes to view Jim. Huck was a young boy growing up in a predominately racist environment, so he was largely destined to view African Americans as less than human. Although there was an overwhelming cultural burden placed upon him, Huck managed to see through the racial stigmas. One particularly important part of the book was after Huck and Jim had been separated by the fog on their way to Cairo. Huck had played a mean joke upon Jim claiming that the entire incident was actually just a dream.
John Howard Griffin gives us insight into what it's like to be a black man during a time of racial segregation in his book “Black Like Me.” Black people were treated like tenth class citizens as Griffin put it. He stepped into the life of a middle-aged black man and showed us what life was truly like to be an African-American. Furthermore, John Howard Griffin had wanted to know what it was like to be a Negro during times of segregation so he had medically changed his pigments to turn his skin from white to a lighter shade of black. It only took a short time for him to morph into the Negro life, he had met up with a black man who entered Griffin into the black status by saying “‘We’ form and to discuss ‘our situation.’ The illusion of my
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass tells the remarkable story of Frederick Douglass as he witnesses the dehumanizing effects of slavery on both slaves and their masters and works to be acknowledged as a human being. Douglass not only documents his journey from childhood to manhood, but also documents the mental and emotional the highs and lows of his emotions as he bounces between slavery and what he believes to be freedom. In the passage about his escape and arrival in New York, Douglass’ emotions regress from feelings of joy to feelings of emptiness. In the excerpt, Frederick Douglass recounts his transition from feelings of excitement to feelings of fear and loneliness during his escape and his arrival in New York using figurative language, diction, and repetition. Rather than blatantly stating his feelings, Douglass uses several kinds of figurative language to convey his emotions to the reader.
On the other hand, Capote has Dick say this about himself: “Deal me out, baby, I’m a normal” (Capote 116). By using phrases such as these, Capote creates an unfavorable impression of Dick and and a biased tone. The same cannot be said for Perry as Capote produces an almost benevolent tone toward him with the help of pathos, “the most powerful appeal” (Noel, 2011). There are several ways in which Capote makes his favoritism of Perry evident. One of which being
Some artist also showed everyday life as an African American, and how their lifestyle was very similar to their oppressors. The identity of African American was constantly messed up, because of their oppressors making them seem like vulgar, troublemakers. The African American artists were making choices in communicating ideals to their audience and how African American are portrayed. African American artists created work that celebrated their culture and what they achieved despite the continuous
Huck shows individualism as he is a person, who is out of the norm, and cares to free his African American friend Jim. He shows the first signs of abolition and shows how he as an individual is different compared to others. He may show a hatred to African Americans on the outside, but on the
Gene is freed of the hatred and jealously that plagued him when Finny was alive. With his new viewpoint on life Gene states, “I was ready for the war, now that I no longer had any hatred to contribute to it. My fury was gone, I felt it gone, dried up at the source, withered and lifeless. Phineas had absorbed it and taken it with him, and I was rid of it forever” (Knowles 203). This quote supports the idea that with the death of Finny, Gene was able to think and act without enmity.
The Power Behind “Just Walk on By” In Brent Staples article “Just Walk on By”, Staples shares his thoughts on the way marginalized groups interact. He uses his own experiences as a young African American man to shed light on how people can have implied biases that affect the way they treat other people. Staples does this to demonstrate how society develops preconceived notions in the minds of individuals about marginalized groups, primarily African American men, which are often a flawed representation of the people within these groups. The rhetoric he uses is key to developing an understanding persona and an emotional appeal that exposes the implied biases of people without alienating or offending the audience, to whom-- among others-- he attributes these biases. To achieve his objective, Staples further appeals to the audience by establishing a likable and understanding persona by concession and rebuttal, as well as light humor to make himself more charming.