Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Two-Toned: Grandma Joyce’s Story

December 13, 2008

By Quiana Tilghman

Instructor’s note: Quiana is a local high school student getting a jump on college by taking Introductory Composition early. She researched this true tale of a family torn apart by race in the era of segregation by reading obituaries and interviewing family members. Her family has kindly consented for this important piece of local history to be shared with the world.

Have you ever seen two children who are brothers and sisters, but they are two totally different skin tones? Let’s say one of the children is caramel skin tone and the other is chocolate skin tones, but the only reason you know they are brothers and sisters is because of the resemblance. What would you do if this happened to you? How would you deal with this situation if it happened during segregation? Would you keep your family together and endure the hell or split your family apart for an easier life? To you this may be a psychological question but for my great-grandmother this was an ultimate decision. Though she may not have known it then, the effects of her decision are still evident today. (more…)

Without Getting to Know Me

December 8, 2008

By “Breaking Point”

Instructor’s Note: The author of this piece says that she “wrote this essay not just as a writing requirement but to make a point.” She has made that point by sharing this piece with people in her life. She shares it here under a pen name, knowing that there must be others who feel the same.

Just because I don’t speak out in class doesn’t mean I won’t speak out in defense. If I choose not to argue don’t assume that you’ve won. People in my life, as long as I can remember, have been judging me. “ I can tell you’re smart because of your glasses.” “You don’t sound black to me.” “ You’re a nice person so I know you can’t fight.” These are just some of the things I’ve heard growing up. As a matter of fact, just recently a guy I know from psychology class told me I didn’t sound black. Even though that wasn’t the first time I’ve heard someone say that to me, it still bothered me. Back then I would have just laughed and let it seem that it didn’t bother me, but for some reason I decided to respond. I asked him what did he mean by that? And to my surprise he said, “ You know, you don’t curse and you sound all educated and stuff.” I looked at him questionably and asked, “ Are you saying black people are supposed to curse and aren’t supposed sound educated?” I must have made him feel stupid because he looked confused and didn’t say another word till the end of class. (more…)

Stereotypes of Africa

December 3, 2008

By Oluwasegun Akinola

My name is Segun which means Victor in English. People could tell that I am an African by the sound of my name and accent. Whenever I am around people, they begin to ask questions about Africa. For example, someone asked me “do you walk around naked in Africa?” Another person asked me “do you live in huts at Africa?” Whenever people ask me these questions, I laugh it off. This shows that these are the stereotypes people of other races have about Africa. They didn’t know what the life in Africa looks like because they got these stereotypes from movies and internet sources. As an African, I want to contrast the good life I had in Africa with the stereotypes of my homeland.

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria in West Africa. (more…)

Racism = Cancer

November 24, 2008

by Thomas Moody II

Instructor’s note: Thomas wrote this text in response to an assignment to write a researched persuasive or argumentative essay.

Racism is a cancer that has plagued the United States since its inception. Webster’s dictionary defines racism as a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race (racism). The 2008 presidential election is bringing up questions of race. Will the country set race aside and vote for the more qualified candidate? Or, will the history of racism in America prevail? Ultimately, does racism still exist in America? I believe that it does, even though times are changing.

As an African American male, I, like many others, have experienced racism first hand and have fallen victim to negative stereotypes. (more…)