What We Lose Our Identity By Zinzi Clemmons

1206 Words5 Pages

Arianna Mae Tungol (wrote paragraphs 1 & 4-5)
Jan Anjellika Pare (wrote paragraphs 2-3)
Professor Rachel Bell
ENGL 110
23 May 2023
We Lose Our Identity People of minority groups struggle every day to find their identity. People frequently dehumanize minority groups causing their culture to be stripped from them. What We Lose, is a fictional narrative loosely based on the author, Zinzi Clemmons’ experiences caring for her mother who suffered from cancer. The main character has difficulty fitting in as a daughter of an African American father and a mixed-race South African mother. In this book, Zinzi Clemmons examines how a person's identity can be impacted by their upbringing in backgrounds, stereotypes, and social classes, making it challenging …show more content…

Depending on where someone stands in the social hierarchy, it will affect the way they are perceived in society. Thandi never saw groups that truly represented her due to her status. In the novel, she states, “...because of my light skin and foreign roots, I was never fully accepted by any race. Plus my family had money, and all the black kids in my town came from the poorer areas… I was a strange in-betweener” (Clemmons 26). The various aspects of her identity were never enough to truly identify her as something, leading her to be confused and overall struggle to find that sense of belonging. If multiple aspects of her identity are being criticized, then there is no way for Thandi to fit into society. Thandi never got to experience what black people struggle with, making it difficult to identify with that group. In theory, if someone is in an elite class, they are favored and have more power but for Thandi’s case, that is not a reality. In the article, Understanding Social Class as Culture, “... our ability to make choices, pave our own paths, and voice our ideas and opinions. For individuals from middle- or upper-class backgrounds, these norms make sense. They tend to live in a relatively certain world where their basic needs are met” (Dittmann). Thandi and her family have power because, in contrast to many who resemble them, they never had financial problems. However, because of her race, she was treated differently. People misjudged her and automatically assumed her stance in society and social class. With her not being able to find a community that accurately represents her, it will make her feel lonely and

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