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My research topic is about Black American oppression and the importance of treating everyone equally despite differences in the color of skin or race. I want this inequality to cease because our forefathers stated in the constitution that “all men are created equal” (Thomas Jefferson) and that no one should be discriminated based on their race. The majority of the world is not white, and we should all come together to respect our brothers and sisters.
Viola Pearson told her personal stories about what her family went through during desegregation. In South Carolina, Viola’s family was treated unequally from white supremacists. The family was evicted from their house through financial ruin, terrorized by Ku Klux Klan, and had to walk 18 miles to school. No one would sell them provisions, so Viola had to make her family clothes. While segregation in schools and town was difficult, “There were no Hollywood endings after segregation was overturned either” (The Times Educational Supplement, 2004). The family’s viewpoint on desegregation was shattered because “It was disappointing, we thought we were moving forward. But we were right back to segregation” (The Times Educational Supplement, 2004).
According to the “Affirmative Action at the Crossroads: Race and the Future of Black Progress,” Thomas Sowell, a black conservative scholar stated, “American Slavery followed racial or color lines and that it was the ultimate factor in the transfer of wealth from one group to another” (Drake, pg.58, 2003) This means that in the beginning of history, ethnic groups were not seen for color.
1: Theoretical explanation of real-world event
There is discrimination against race because of the social construction and social action in America. The social organization views people differently based on their races and different backgrounds. Americans’ roles on race relations impact their children. White Americans are having dominance over blacks in today’s society.
Social construction in today’s world connects to races. Social organization is how they define the definers. Allowing people power to define the words white or black in what they think makes sense to them. White people in general view how young black Americans are more susceptible to having a bad education from what neighborhood they live in. (Needs citation!!) According to Teresa J. Guess in her journal, “The Social Construction of Whiteness: Racism by Intent, Racism by Consequence,” “Part of our commonsense knowledge about “race” and whiteness in America is that interaction between the “races” is generally perceived in terms in hierarchical relations between blacks and whites” (Guess, pg.657, 2006). Americans divide according to race and how they each define social construction.
Social action existence of races does not look at the physical characteristics or differences. But how each race group socially recognizes the difference in other groups. Pierre van de Berghe argues, “it is not the presence of objective physical differences between groups that creates race, but the social recognition of such differences as socially significant or relevant” (Guess, pg.657, 2006). Everyone notices the physical features from each race.
Americans are teaching the new generations about race relations. Stanfield “defines racism as the generator of race-making” (Guess, pg.658, 2006). He says “that the significance of race-making in American nation-state building has been normative, not accidental, coincidental [nor] a contradiction between democratic ideals and human interests” (Guess, pg.658, 2006). This means in America people are intending to define what race is and implementing what racism is. This is teaching racism to the new generations explaining the purpose of what race is all about. People would give words negative meaning nicknames for race and religion. This causes negative stereotypes for certain races which implants racism ideologists to new generations.
The American population groups are rank in order according to race especially between blacks and whites. Whites are seemly dominating some areas in America over blacks and have more power of production. An example of this is in L.A. where black construction workers have tried to get a job at the construction site but as the employers see they are a different race, the job becomes unavailable. These black construction workers have the work, skills, and training. They are refusing to hire the blacks and seek outside hirers. Blacks in L.A. have an unemployment rate of 50%. This shows that discriminations still happens today.
In America there is still discriminating especially between the blacks and the whites. Social construction in today’s world is still going on. Races in social action recognizes unique physical appearance among ethnic groups. Americans are teaching the new generations about race relations. This is a ranking system among racism. I think Americans in today’s society should develop a world where there is no discrimination.
Too many people get caught up with the color skin others have and don’t spend enough time getting to know each other’s culture. Adolescent from the black culture trying to find their place in a white society. They are being weighed down by stereotypes about black versus white people. Black adolescents are searching their part academics. High and low black students and how they feel about their achievements.
The Black Culture isn’t being acknowledged or appreciated compare to the whites. This is especially shown in some adolescents when they moved to America, they feel the need to get rid of their language and culture altogether. Within the school atmosphere, African-American adolescence feel like they are trying to find their academic place but are weighed down by negative racial types.
Many African-Americans have been denied to an education, so they view education as an important part of their lives which helps them overcome the challenges. African-American adolescents with their racial background come to appreciate education more and will perform better in school. Black adolescents who are harassed for their racial identity will have psychological behavioral problems. African-American adolescents with a stronger understanding of their background will come to appreciate and be prideful in their culture because of the things they lacked previous versus what they can gain now. This is compared to those who don’t appreciate their culture as much.
Higher achieving African-Americans want to study oppression of blacks through history. Lower achieving African-Americans defined higher achieving African-Americans as “acting white” because they feel like that there is success in education is depriving their black identity (Smalls C., p.306, 2007). This is not the case because higher achieving peers are not neglecting their identity but rather achieving better education to succeed and support their race. The researchers assume African-Americans who can connect with other minority groups tend to do better academically because they feel the support. Students feel that they are privilege to gain an education, therefore they don’t feel the pressure of being a high academic achiever.
Higher academic achievers are persistent and they want to learn. Those who did well in school are reported to be less likely to learn in a negative school environment. Students didn’t find discrimination happening frequently but did occur at least once. This study explains African-Americans who emphasis their cultural identity are more motivated in school. Minority groups who are discriminated against tend to distance themselves from things they are not good at in school. This study found that students who studied racial discrimination in history and connect with other minority groups are more motivated academically. African-Americans who try to fit in within the minority group are at a bigger risk academically and psychologically because they were oppressed by the American society.
The academic identity is not consistent with their culture identity. They placed more value on their education, so their academic identity becomes more significant. It results in their loss of their cultural identity. The researchers found evidence against the beliefs that African-Americans adolescents are directly correlated with low academic achievement, but they need to do more research. From the research they have done we can see that adolescents feel they need to replace their culture with white culture not realizes their culture is as important as they are.
Race Forward the Center for Racial Justice Innovation Organization was founded in 1981; it brings analysis in an innovative approach to difficult race issues that help those people to have a racial equality. There are three things they implement to work towards achieving equality and giving opportunities to everybody. Those three things are Government Alliance on Race and Equity, News Site Colorlines, and presents facing race which is “the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.”
Their mission has three parts, one, is building awareness or social justice; two, is to find solutions to social justice problems; and three, development leadership. They do this by generating ideas, information and experiences. Their race vison is global prosperity through racial equality. Their colorful vision is to see all ethnic groups come together to share, reach their potential and build relationships.
The Organization has Core Values and these values include People of Color, Justice, Transformation, Bridging, Expression, Adaptability, and Delight. I will give more details about each value. People of Color-value opinions, cultures, personal experiences and intellect. Justice- they value the best foundation for peace among all people. Transformation- giving individuals opportunities to change in ways to make possible to achieve racial justice. Bridging-they value the results of others who meet in the middle and their insights. Expression-they are not afraid to speak what they believe. Adaptability-they value the change within times in society. Delight- they are able to value happiness “in the work of social change.”
Race Forward studies the racial injustice issues and seeks to find ways to bring social change. They use media as a way to tell stories about race and social injustice. The practice supports action in bringing attention to racial injustices through organizations, conferences, and campaigns.
Their desire beliefs are to build solutions, leadership, and awareness for racial justice. Having fair treatment for people of all races. They want to be a value driven social justice enterprise with diversity. They are striving for racial justice with a diverse staff. They also offer services like consultations, investigating research, public speeches, and training for staff.
This organization can help diverse people from all over the world with racial justice issues. The Race Forward organization could have a fundraiser to raise awareness of these racial issues. They could start volunteer programs to help others understand the problems going on with diverse groups and train them on how to provide aid. They could run annual events on Race Forward organization showing others what the people of all races are going through in cultures, and how to show sympathy towards them.
The possible resistance to fundraiser would be protestors, lack of awareness, the volunteers not having the resources to train others, and misinformation given at the annual event for Race Forward that could lead to bias. To overcome protestors, they can place staff at the front to keep them from entering the event. To raise awareness of the event, they can hand out flyers, place an ad in the newspaper, etc. While planning the volunteer programs, Race Forward should talk with the volunteers to figure out what resources they will need to effectively train people from the community and provide them with whatever resources they may need. To counteract misinformation, they could have diverse people from all over the world to speak about their cultures.
The purpose of Race Forward the Center for Racial Justice Innovation Organization is to help racial groups achieve social justice. They have core values that they emulate to create a successful organization. In the action plan, they are trying to create an organization for fair treatment of all races. Their goals can change the world’s perspectives.
“All men are created equal” (Thomas Jefferson) is a statement that is at the very core of the American belief system. It does not say “all white men are created equal”, instead it offers no qualifications of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation to be deserving of this right. We, as human beings, should respect each other for the simple fact that we are brothers and sisters in humanity. This commonality should bring nations together, rather than tear them apart and torment the individuals within the countries’ borders.
Over the course of my research, I discovered many different and interesting points on black oppression in American. For example, black adolescents not showing their true potential in school because many of them are afraid to be mocked and ostracized by their racial peers. Another example is, blacks not giving opportunities to work jobs they were trained for due to discrimination from the majority. One more example, is racism is still being taught in America today. Children are not born racists. It is mentality that is taught to them by being exposed to negative and demeaning comments they hear as people they look up too. Speak about those of other races. This allows stereotypes and racism to continue and thrive through the generations.
All races should appreciate other cultures instead of trying to force them to conform to our cultures. Instead of preaching intolerance and racism to our children and grandchildren, I firmly believe that each of us should strive to end racism by learning to appreciate the uniqueness each culture has to offer and striving to see each other not as black and white but as equal brothers and sisters.
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