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Analysis of Racial Oppression in America Using Critical Race Theory

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Racial oppression and discrimination are identified as a prominent and critically vital subject in the American lives and all through the American history. Over 150 years following the 13th Amendment obliterated slavery in America, majority of the American citizens claim that the legacy and continual act of slavery pertains to pose impacts on the position of the Blacks in the American societal context. Furthermore, in the context of individual racial subjugation and individual discrimination, most of African Americans have personally encountered racial discriminations as well as individuals making unconstructive assumptions or inconsiderateness or bigotry remarks about race and ethnicities (Reed). The following essay will shed light on acts of racial oppression and discrimination in the United States and its consequences on the victimized sections by drawing relevance to Critical Race Theory.


Liberation in the United States was pursued by era of rapid industrialization in the past third of the nineteenth century. According to Nitta, the Civil War along with its transitory resolution of sectional segmentation greatly instigated the economy. Thus, with industrialization there has been witnessed an historic chance to transform the ethnic labour principle of the country. However, neither critical race nor postcolonial theory can be interpreted apart from historical struggles. Critical race theory evolved in reaction to racism as well as racial conditions in the United States. Critical theories of ethnicity and race in the United States can be dated back till the middle of the nineteenth century as well as early twentieth centuries, with linkages in the writings of well-established intellectual theorists like Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth (Lee et al). As per studies of Yao, Mwangi, and Malaney Brown, the connections of internationalization, relocation, ethnicity, racism and nativism in the United States have its significance all through the history of the United States. Yao, Mwangi, and Malaney Brown have further drawn insights of the yellow peril of Chinese workers with the imprisonment and captivity of Japanese citizens during World War II in addition to the transatlantic slave trade which has been situated within the world racial system. Based on the U.S Civil Rights movements during the 1960s, the critical race theory had shed light on subjects of social justice, self-regulation in addition to financial development. McGee and Stovall have noted CRT reasons in lieu of the centrality of race and racism besides the significance of taking dynamic stance in order to challenge the White dominance, legacy and assertions of colour recklessness and meritocracy.

Theoretical understandings of CRT encompass of stability and centrality of race and racism. The periodic accounts of colonization and slavery in the United States with racial and ethnic lines resulted in the development of ethnic hierarchy with the categorized as Whites placed at the top hierarchy along with other populaces considered of Colour situated in the lower rank. In the short narrative of ‘The Lesson’, Bambara provided the theme of appearance, class, subdivision, shame as well as education. The insights gathered in the book narrated in first person by a young African American girl named Sylvia has provided insights of realizations from the beginning of the narrative that the Bambara might have explored the theme of appearance. Bambara by throwing light on the experiences of racial oppression encountered by African American exhibited the aspects of class inequality, prejudice, oppression, subjugation. Comprehensive insights of the story have found the core theme of the essentiality of education which shows great value to the whole African American community. In addition to this, by drawing relevance to class inequality, prejudice, oppression the narrative threw light on ethnic and financial divergences which still have existence in the society. Similar thoughts have been shared in recent studies which claim that systemic racism has significantly contributed to the perseverance of race-based gaps which have manifested several varied economic indicators. The critical divergences have been in measures of household prosperity and affluence, exhibiting centuries of dominance and supremacy of the White individuals which have particularly imposed challenges for people of colour in order to attain financial security and stability. Reports have claimed that racial discrimination has its occurrence in several forms which involves education, employment and earning practices, thus contributing to continuous income gaps. It has been revealed that the median White and Asian workers have earned more than 30% more as compared to typical racially oppressed group Black and Latino workers. Meanwhile, findings from studies on international students and their experiences with racial oppression have pointed out that CRT postulates Whiteness as property and White as sovereignty. However, cultural patterns of privileged White class has been deliberated as normative in the context of the United States as demonstrated in early immigration regulations which privileged White populaces seeking entry into the United States. Consequently, whiteness of privileged section as property as well as the supremacy of Whiteness has been ostensible in three particular areas linked to international students in the context of the US whereby the advantaged standing of White American standards, the universality of English as the overriding language as well as the supposition of assimilation besides acculturation of foreign apprentices.

Meanwhile, Annamma, Jackson and Morrison casted light on the US history as being influential American leader and put his opinion in opposition to racism and encountered the authorities of the African Americans. Comprehensive insights profoundly reflect the way the supreme White class subjugated and resented the atrocities obliged to the African Americans and the way Black women had been physically tortured and battered. Parker by drawing relevance to Malcolm X has claimed that Black conservatives accentuating the insistence of Malcolm on self-sufficiency of African Americans have considered him as founder of this movement. Furthermore, by obtaining insights from Malcolm’s X, it has been postulated that newly acquired reading competences facilitated him belonging to underprivileged class to transform himself from the hustler to supporter of the Black Muslim nationalist (Malcolm). In addition to this, individuals even in recent times, show greater propensity to curtail individual involvements of discernment due to the exertion of deducing discrimination from individual circumstances besides due to the elevating uneasiness in challenging individuals’ personal oppression. 

Likewise, individuals observe a complex level of discrimination focused at the group to which they belong to as a whole as compared to themselves as individual characters. Although in recent times, discrimination tends to pertain and generates real consequences. Furthermore, clear discrepancies amongst Whites as well as non-Whites in the United States have been observed in sectors of employment, healthcare access in addition to health outcomes, accommodation and education. The layering of liminality in addition to a secondary communal ranking because of racist nativism has further resulted in the essentializing of the involvements encountered by marginalized class.


Hence to conclude, in the milieu of individual racial subjugation as well as individual discrimination, most of African Americans have individually faced racial discriminations as well as individuals making unhelpful assumptions or selfishness or bigotry remarks about race and ethnicities. It has been noted that supremacy of advantaged section as property as well as the authority and control of Whiteness have been apparent in three particular areas related to the context of the US whereby the privileged standing of White American standards. Critical deviations have been in dealings of domestic affluence and wealth, displaying centuries of dominance and sovereignty of the White individuals. However, Malcolm X claimed that Black conservatives emphasizing the insistence of Malcolm on autonomy of African Americans deliberated him as founder of this movement.


  • Annamma, Subini Ancy, Darrell D. Jackson, and Deb Morrison. ‘Conceptualizing color-evasiveness: Using dis/ability critical race theory to expand a color-blind racial ideology in education and society.’ Race Ethnicity and Education 20.2 (2017): 147-162.
  • Asch, Adrienne. ‘Critical race theory, feminism, and disability: Reflections on social justice and personal identity.’ Disability and Equality Law. Routledge, 2017. 143-176.
  • Bambara, Toni Cade. ‘The lesson.’ Gorilla, my love (1972): 85-96.
  • Lee, Randy T., et al. ‘On the prevalence of racial discrimination in the United States.’ PloS one 14.1 (2019): e0210698.
  • Malcolm, X. ‘Learning to Read.’ The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Ed. Alex Haley. New York: Ballantine (1965): 353-61.
  • McCoy, Dorian L., and Dirk J. Rodricks. Critical Race Theory in Higher Education: 20 Years of Theoretical and Research Innovations: ASHE Higher Education Report, Volume 41, Number 3. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.
  • McGee, Ebony O., and David Stovall. ‘Reimagining critical race theory in education: Mental health, healing, and the pathway to liberatory praxis.’ Educational Theory 65.5 (2015): 491-511.
  • Nitta, Keiko. ‘Lessons in Difference in the American Feminist Criticism of the 1980s.’ Ex-position 40 (2018): 109-120.
  • Parker, Laurence. ‘Critical race theory in education and qualitative inquiry: What each has to offer each other now?’ (2015): 199-205.
  • Reed, Conor Tomas. ‘The Early Developments of Black Women’s Studies in the Lives of Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, and Audre Lorde.’ Anuario de la Escuela de Historia 30 (2018): 45-77.
  • Yao, Christina W., Chrystal A. George Mwangi, and Victoria K. Malaney Brown. ‘Exploring the intersection of transnationalism and critical race theory: a critical race analysis of international student experiences in the United States.’ Race Ethnicity and Education 22.1 (2019): 38-58.

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Analysis Of Racial Oppression In America Using Critical Race Theory. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from
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