Why Does Race Matter

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 563 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Words: 563|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical Context
  3. Identity and Belonging
  4. Social and Political Movements
  5. Intersectionality
  6. Conclusion


Race has been a contentious and deeply ingrained concept in human society for centuries. It has shaped our history, influenced our social structures, and continues to impact our lives today. The question of why race matters is a complex one, with no singular answer. In this essay, we will explore various perspectives on race and delve into the reasons why it continues to be a significant factor in our society.

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Historical Context

To understand why race matters, we must first examine its historical significance. Throughout history, race has been used as a means to justify inequality, oppression, and discrimination. The concept of race emerged during the era of European colonialism, as a way to categorize and differentiate people based on physical characteristics. This categorization was often accompanied by a hierarchical ranking, with certain races deemed superior to others.

The legacy of this historical context still reverberates today. The effects of slavery, colonization, and segregation have left lasting scars on individuals and communities, perpetuating racial inequalities. Therefore, race matters because it is intricately tied to power dynamics and social hierarchies.

Identity and Belonging

Another reason why race matters is its role in shaping individual and group identities. Race often serves as a marker of cultural heritage, shared experiences, and collective identity. People of the same race may share similar cultural practices, traditions, and values, which can foster a sense of belonging and community.

Furthermore, race can influence how individuals are perceived and treated by others. Racial stereotypes and prejudices can lead to discriminatory practices, both overt and subtle. This can impact various aspects of life, including education, employment, housing, and healthcare. Thus, race matters because it can shape one's experiences and opportunities in society.

Social and Political Movements

Race also matters because it has been a driving force behind numerous social and political movements throughout history. Movements such as the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa were fueled by the desire for racial equality and justice.

These movements have brought about significant social and legal changes, challenging the status quo and advocating for equal rights. They have highlighted the importance of recognizing and addressing racial disparities in various spheres of life. Thus, race matters because it has the power to mobilize communities and spark transformative social change.


An essential aspect of understanding why race matters is recognizing its intersectionality with other social categories, such as gender, class, and sexuality. Intersectionality acknowledges that individuals experience multiple forms of oppression simultaneously, and these intersecting identities shape their experiences and opportunities.

For example, a black woman may face discrimination based on both her race and gender, leading to unique challenges and disadvantages. By considering race within the context of intersectionality, we can better understand how different forms of oppression intersect and compound each other. Thus, race matters because it is interconnected with other aspects of identity, shaping individuals' lived experiences.

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In conclusion, the question of why race matters is complex and multifaceted. Its historical significance, role in shaping identity, societal impact, and intersectionality all contribute to its relevance. Race matters because it is intimately tied to power dynamics, social hierarchies, and systems of oppression. Recognizing the significance of race is essential for addressing social inequalities, promoting inclusivity, and working towards a more just and equitable society. By engaging in deep analysis and critical engagement with the concept of race, we can move closer to dismantling the barriers and divisions it creates.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Why Does Race Matter. (2024, March 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
“Why Does Race Matter.” GradesFixer, 19 Mar. 2024,
Why Does Race Matter. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jul. 2024].
Why Does Race Matter [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 19 [cited 2024 Jul 19]. Available from:
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