When I Was White Sarah Valentine Analysis

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In Sarah Valentine’s essay “When I Was White”, she explains her viewpoint of transracialism. She explains her identity, and proceeds to show how her view of herself has changed and what that means for her. In this critique it will be explained how Valentine’s internalized racism forced her to react poorly to her own identity. Valentine opens her essay by stating that she has gone through a racial transition. She then illustrates her childhood as a mixed adolescent, but that she was told and believed to be white. She reflects on the time when she found out her biological father was a black man, and her difficulty of coming to terms with her real identity. She explains the mental and physical trauma she went through during this process and the trouble she had with relationships in her life. She looks back at times her family discussed race or how she looked at other people of…show more content…
She would have been surprised but accepting of it. She would continue to be herself. Although, she might have had self-esteem issues that she would need to work through either way, adding race to her identity would have been much less stressful had it not been perceived as a bad thing. But she saw black people as people who were different: in the way they act, talk, and exist. And so, she thought she had to be someone different to fit the idea of who a black woman is. That is why she should not say she went through a racial transition; because she always has been who she is. In short, Sarah Valentine’s “When I Was White” does an excellent job of how racism, internally and externally, warps people’s perception of black people. While Valentine claims to have gone through a transracial identity crisis, she just had self-esteem issues on top of misguided perceptions of race and what it means to be

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