Race should not be used to define an individual as physical differences vary with geographical areas. Also, the color of an individual skin may vary depending on where they were raised. Hence, some physical characteristics are independently inherited. Nonetheless, historical research describes the race as a social mechanism to refer to people brought together in colonial America. For this reason, it was used as a mechanism to rank and control human differences and divided individuals into groups depending on privilege, power, and wealth. However, in the modern era, people are discriminated based on skin color, wealth, and social class. According to article-White privilege (1988), racism was an act of meanness that focuses on expressing the dominance of a group. Based on the descriptions of races, the race is not only a stereotype focusing on skin color but instead focuses on other aspects that include social class and cultural behavior. Through the 20th century, many authors have used different symbolic imageries to show their perception of blacks in an approach to eliminate racism. Nonetheless, racism was intense, which forced many black authors and poets to write books, articles, and poems to eradicate racism and free African Americans from slaves.
According to the story of Chimamanda, a narrow understanding of a concept leads to stereotypes. Therefore, the theme of racism needs several stories. Hence as earlier discussed, although their performance and their operation mechanism retrograde Africans, the stories define all humans as being equal. Chimamanda defined stereotypes as a bond weakened that separates people. Individuals generate the problem after identifying specific aspects of a group. For instance, in the story of "The dangers of a single story," it is identified that poverty, war, and other bad things are for Africans, which is not true because there are people in Africa who are rich and live a luxurious life. On the other hand, the same story describes American men as "serial killers," a totally inaccurate belief.
In the early years of the 20th century, "color lunacy" was a common social norm a part of the professional life of the black people. The lighter-skinned Africans were perceived to be passionate and have a higher adaptability chance. Throughout his novel, Hughes's skin tones throughout his novel appear to be a conscious proclamation against racial absorption and conformity. Emphasis on this aspect sensibly will affect how black people act when among themselves. Racial conformity emphasizes appropriate interactions in different settings, most noteworthy accomplishments.
In the Harlem Renaissance time, a famous poet Claude McKay uses imagery to describe black's perceptions towards white Americans. In addition, from his rhyme, the author advocates for a "noble" death with glory to the dead as die/defy that shows that a brave death in defiance (Leech & Geoffrey 27). According to views by Helene Johnson African American poet in the Harlem Renaissance era in her poem, "My Race," Africans are referred to as the race of the hungry. In this regard, she vocalizes the blacks as having the greed desire to be incepted into the American culture (Brown & William 93). Through this, the poem can be considered melancholic in a way due to the massive use of racial abuse and oppression but yet, on the other hand, supportive.
Contemporary literature works from the 1970s presents a slightly different dimension to issues with race. There have been films and songs which have been produced to push for racial issues in the country range from white privileges to black lives matter. For instance, the documentary Stay Woke: Black Lives Matter Movement documents the origin of the black lives matter movement during the Ferguson demonstrations in 2013. The demonstrations were a result of several police shootings that targeted black Americans like the =case for Michael Brown. It was expected that black filmmakers would jump to the opportunity of making a film about Ferguson. Still, the reality is making an independent film means that those with access to resources would get it first. Additionally, a song titled black lives matter by Dae Dae also puts forward the same ideas of black discrimination.
Other literary works have documented race issues. For instance, racial information is a theory that was developed by Howard Winant and Michael Omi, which evaluates race as a social construct. The racial information theory suggests that what makes up the racial category is based on a combination of political, social, and economic factors. It also implies that the social meanings given to certain biological factors have consequences that affect daily interaction choices and believes (Omi and Winant). Other works have also documented the ideology of the post-civil rights movement. Bonilla-Silva (2012) suggests that racial discrimination based on biological aspects is no longer the leading form of racism. He feels that the contemporary world has shifted to colorblind racism, which is based on the ethnicity and cultural composition of a group (Bonilla-Silva). From black lives matter to all lives matter, these phrases have raised eyebrows in the modern world. The black lives matter movement also received backlash in the United States with the emergence of the all lives matter movement. This movement is often viewed as contemporary colorblind racism. Bobo (2012) suggests that a survey done after the election of President Obama almost two-thirds of white Americans believed that black Americans had reached racial equality. The all lives matter movement was a plot to stop the racism conversation in the country with the witty response that the black lives matter movement did not include all races and all lives.
In the post-civil rights era, societal expectations have changed. For instance, publicly discriminating someone based on skin color is not acceptable. However, it is okay to criticize a group based on their social and cultural failings. The new ideology of racism has more severe consequences in American society, which elicit beliefs that have impacts on the criminal justice system. Other authors also have back the idea of colorblind racism, suggesting that under the concept, the criminal justice system has a huge disparity comparing the number of black people it has impacted. Even though some people might argue that race does not matter in the criminal justice system, statistics imply otherwise. According to Bobo (2011), the rate of black American imprisonment almost tripled from the 1980s to the new millennium; the same period, the ration of incarcerated blacks to whites increased to 8:1. This implies that a black person is eight times more likely to be arrested and incarcerated than a white person (Bobo 11). Another statistic s also suggests that one out of every three black males is likely to go to prison at one point in his life compared to one out of twenty whites.
I think that I would not have interpreted the material differently because most of these sources provided facts of the situations in the country in relation to race and ethnicity. For ins6ance, the idea that the future of an individual can be determined by circumstance surrounding his or her origin, ethnicity, and existence is prevalent in the contemporary world. It is also a cruel reality that we have all witnessed these happenings where their skin color or geographical positioning hugely determine the level of success of an individual. The existence of social groups is something that is beyond our control. Additionally, one of the readings that provided a new insight was Passing by Larsen. Her depiction of how racial groups are not a result of their natural legacy but the established political, financial, and social circumstances. The reading is mainly concerned about the reality of vulnerability that exists in the contemporary world, especially in regards to character. The author evaluates the impacts of character on personal experiences, race, and sexuality, bearing in mind that identity shapes involvement. Just like Larson's story, it is apparent that in most cases, our styles are constrained by society. This implies that people are often afraid to get out of the box and do the things they want. Instead, we are not often obliged to do what is acceptable in our societies to please the masses.
One learning moment that would stick with me is the realization that race is not only based on physical appearance but also the social perspectives among people. According to Goodman (2000), the race was a concept that was employed in the bid to rank, control, and divide colonized people. This generally implies that the colonizers used the ideology to brainwash people into thinking that certain races are superior to others. Most researches also back these ideas as they claim that race is a social mechanism utilized in the 18th century to refer to people who came to America during that time. I also found out that race is not biological since no gene that is common among blacks or whites. The economic, political, and social meanings of race have not been fluid.
My AHA moment was also the realization that how an individual views racial identity can change over time depending on their experience, which adds to the ideology that race is a social construct. According to research, whites in interracial marriages often experience shifts in how they view their individual racial identity. The book White Privileges also gives a hint of this situation.being white means enjoying some privileges such as being presumed non-criminal, competent, and safe regardless of the social, economic class. Consequently, whites who start to experience discrimination because of their connections with other races may start to no longer feel white anymore. They realize that their lived reality does not go hand in hand with the social meaning of their skin color.
In conclusion, racism has been an aspect that has, for some time, been deep-rooted within the American spirit. The authors played a significant role in expressing both sides of the coin, as they risk stereotypes that create divisions that further increases the gap between these two races. The reflective view emphasizes the need for an equal approach in examining racist elements to avoid creating negative stereotypes.
Bobo, Lawrence D. "Somewhere between Jim Crow & post-racialism: Reflections on the racial divide in America today." Daedalus 140.2 (2011): 11-36.
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. "The invisible weight of whiteness: the racial grammar of everyday life in contemporary America." Ethnic and racial studies 35.2 (2012): 173-194.
Bradby, Hannah. "Race, ethnicity and health: The costs and benefits of conceptualising racism and ethnicity." Social science & medicine 75.6 (2012): 955.
Mock, Janet. Redefining realness: My path to womanhood, identity, love & so much more. Simon and Schuster, 2014.
McIntosh, Peggy. "White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack." (1988).
Tennant-Moore, Hannah. "Bad Feminists." Dissent 61.4 (2014): 10-14.
Winant, Howard. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1980s. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986.
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