White Dominance In America

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America does not give black people the choice to decide if race will or will not be a pervasive part of life. For white America, race does not exist because it does not serve as a barrier compared to Black Americans whose blackness comes with baggage. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel, Americanah, explores the complexities of white supremacy and its purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege. In order to highlight the influence of the system, Adichie focused on the development of Ifemelu and Curt’s interracial relationship in a way that does not pretend as if race does not exist. As a conscious black woman in America, Ifemelu realizes that interracial dating is a function of white dominance. In the novel, Adichie…show more content…
An example of Curt making an effort to defend Ifemelu is when he dropped Ifemelu off at a spa near his childhood home so that she could get her eyebrows shaped for his cousin’s wedding. When Ifemelu asked the Asian woman behind the counter for a wax, the salon employee sneered, “We don’t do curly [eyebrows]” (361). When Curt arrived to pick up Ifemelu, he demanded the woman to do Ifemelu’s eyebrows and declared “I’ll shut down this fucking place. You don’t deserve to have a license” (361). The woman smiled and transformed herself into a considerate coquette by Curt’s command and waxed Ifemelu’s eyebrows, as Ifemelu sat tensely afraid that the woman would harm her. Although Ifemelu received the service that she should have received without the initial response, Curt’s ability to threaten the salon in a raging manner without any backlash was an indication of his white privilege. No one questioned Curt or ignored his demands –he was visible to the Asian employee and his voice was heard. (361) Nevertheless, Curt’s white privilege caused a discomfort that would remind Ifemelu of the differences between them. Curt and Ifemelu’s relationship –that of a black woman and a white man –reflects the real world of white supremacy and systematic racism in America where people manifest attitudes of superiority and
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