African American Studies

Stereotypes: Definition, Discussion and Functionality in Creating Racial Ideas

Stereotypes: Definition, Discussion and Functionality in Creating Racial Ideas

This paper will present how racial stereotypes can be used to ridicule a people and to lead public opinion into thinking of this people as unable to live “unruly.” According to Ethnic Notions, in the 20th century, some of the most well-known stereotypes about African-American people were the figures of the mammy, the pickaninny, the sambo, the coon (zip coon), the uncle Tom and the brute (or buck ).

The mammy consisted on a very docile, loyal, and domestic black female slave devoted to her masters and mistresses. Fat, dark-skinned, and cantankerous, she was deprived of sexual appeal. As a counterpart for the mammy, there was the Jezebel: a very sexualized black woman who was driven by her libido. Both images served to show black women as being the opposite of a white lady (fragile, pious) – which, in the case of the mammy, was a manner of avoiding the feeling of threat by the mistress.

Voodoo and Santería: Definition, Background and Elements of the Tradition

Voodoo and Santería: Definition, Background and Elements of the Tradition

This paper argues that the creolization of African religious traditions – resulting in religions such as Voodoo and Santería – was the manner through which the African-American people, brought as slaves to the Americas and to the Caribbean islands, managed to cope with the abrupt tearing of them from freedom, language, family, friends, and land. The Atlantic Slave Trade was responsible for the spread of African religions to the New World. Through the 16th and 19th centuries, the Triangular Slave Trade (West Africa, Americas and Caribbean, and Europe) forced native people from West Africa into slavery in the Americas and in the Caribbean – a fact in history known as African Diaspora.

In order to cope with the suffering of being torn apart from everything they that was familiar to them, the enslaved people turned to their religious beliefs. Thus since Yoruba people, from Dahomey (now: Nigeria, Benin and Tongo), were one of the peoples taken as slaves, the Yoruba religion was the one practiced in the new land.

Slavery Paper on the Big Debate Sparked by Moses Brown in 1783

Slavery Paper on the Big Debate Sparked by Moses Brown in 1783

Charles Farquharson's Plantation: Helping to Create a Socio-Economic Situation Where Slaves Maintained Their Own Group Identity

“We would all agree that insofar as every landscape is a composition of spaces it is also a composition of boundaries.” (Jackson 1984:13) Few things establish a boundary quite as well as a wall; although a wall may be built for a variety of reasons its essential nature is to delineate space and this delineation can have a social impact whether or not it is intended. The Farquharson plantation provides a unique landscape for understanding the socio-economic aspects of walls as boundaries, both because it is a plantation and, as such, is a small community steeped in social and economic inequality where clear social boundaries between master and slave exist while the people live in relatively close proximity, and because it is in itself unique among plantations of the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Slavery’s Complex Relationship with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence

Slavery’s Complex Relationship with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence

Abraham Lincoln loudly proclaimed, in his oft-quoted Peoria Address on October 16, 1854, “Allow ALL the governed an equal vice in the government, and that, and that only is self-government.” Unfortunately, the proponents of slavery in the 1850s were not so easily convinced. In a nation plagued by heated debate and threats of succession, Lincoln’s words only served to stir the pot of turmoil in a hotly-divided nation. In order to better understand the underpinnings of the national divide, it is necessary to examine the proper relationship between the slavery issue and the Constitution (and Declaration of independence), from both the legal/constitutional and moral perspectives.

Racial Profiling: Separating America

Racial Profiling: Separating America

In the past 65 years our country has gone through many changes. We have ended segregation between minorities and Whites. We have even elected an African American president. We have supported several African American Secretaries of State. However, our law enforcement still believes it is ok to judge a person by the color of his or her skin. What gives a police officer the right to pull over an African American based on what he is driving? Also having the idea that he is probably doing something illegal? Jesse Jackson calls this “Driving while Black, (DWB)” (Nelson, Paul, Block Jr. & Brown-Dean). Another issue is the preferred drugs of different races are being used against minorities because of harsher penalty for the same offense. Racial profiling should never be used. In this paper I will address the issues of harsher drug charges, “Driving while Black,” and carrying concealed weapons without a license.

Normative Principal

The South African Blacks’ Ironic Employment of Apartheid

The South African Blacks’ Ironic Employment of Apartheid

Apartheid, the racial segregation system of South Africa imposed in the 1940s, sought to separate blacks from the whites. Composed of both physical and psychological segregation, apartheid attempted to not only distance the blacks from the whites geographically, but also divide them emotionally. The white population justified this segregation by arguing that blacks were inherently different. In fact, whites viewed blacks as inferior and unbeneficial to the development of South Africa. Although many conventional efforts were made in the past to challenge this inequitable system, it was not until the latter ends of the 1960s to the beginnings of the 1970s that witnessed a rise of a new philosophical movement called the Black Consciousness, which was designed to challenge apartheid in a new manner. Interestingly enough, even though the Movement was initially formed as a means to eradicate the apartheid, it deviated to a different form of segregation, this time blacks alienating the whites.

Ignorance is Bliss - Using Examples from the Movie Crash

Ignorance is Bliss - Using Examples from the Movie Crash

In my life as a person living in a mainly black neighborhood, just about all of my childhood I have had to deal with racism very often. The movie Crash which also covers racism along with gender and class. I thought it was a great movie, because of how it addresses the perception of race through each character’s point of view, and how perceptions can be completely wrong.

Essay on Racism from the Article Something about the Subject Makes it Hard to Name by Gloria Yamato

Essay on Racism from the Article Something about the Subject Makes it Hard to Name by Gloria Yamato

Something about the Subject Makes it Hard to Name by Gloria Yamato. This is a very interesting article which talks about racism a lot. It’s so incredible on how someone that is white has the courage to right an article about racism and the fact is that she’s not blaming or hating no one in particular. It states that white people want to be allies with color people. She is actually talking about how you don’t have to blame color people for your mistakes. “Whites who want to be allies to people of color: You can educate yourselves via research and observation rather than rigidly, arrogantly relying solely on interrogating people of color. Do not expect that people of color should teach you how to behave non-oppressively. Think hard. Do not blame people of color for your frustrations about racism, but do appreciate the fact that people of color will often help you get in touch with the frustrations.”

Paper on Brent Staples Just Walk on By - The Portrayal of an African American Man's Struggle With His Appearance

Paper on Brent Staples Just Walk on By - The Portrayal of an African American Man's Struggle With His Appearance

Brent Staples “Just Walk On By” is the portrayal of an African American man’s struggle with his appearance and how he must adapt his own life to accommodate others. The author describes how throughout his life he had been mistaken for a criminal, murderer, or simply a vicious individual, when in reality this was far from true. Staples understands why certain people may be afraid of him, especially young women during nighttime. While anger seems to be the stem of Staple’s writing, he never puts blame on anyone and remains calm throughout all his ordeals . Young black males are overrepresented as perpetrators of violence, and Brent Staples learned this the hard way .

Staples begins his essay by stating that “my first victim was a woman – white, well dressed, probably in her late twenties.” The reader is subjected to what Staples his whole life has gone through, being falsely accused as a target of criminal or menacing behavior; especially by women. By saying his “victim”, the reader immediately assumes that Staples is a bad man or evil .

Paper on the articles Plus Ca Change? Correcting Inuit Inmates in Nunavut, Canada by Tammy C. Landau, Racial Discrimination in the Ontario Criminal Justice System by Scot Wortley and Andrea McCalla, and And the Poor Get Prison by Jeffery H. Reiman

The articles “Plus Ca Change? ‘Correcting’ Inuit Inmates in Nunavut, Canada” by Tammy C. Landau, “Racial Discrimination in the Ontario Criminal Justice System” by Scot Wortley and Andrea McCalla, and “…And the Poor Get Prison” by Jeffery H. Reiman all give insight on to how system racism affects the daily lives of minority groups. These articles use systemic racism to explain why there is an over-representation of minorities within the criminal justice systems in North America. Thus, this essay will analyze each authors interpretation of disproportionate offending to give a better understanding of their thought and discover the limitations encountered in each piece.

The Differences and Similarities of Articles Written by Neil Bissoondath and Brent Staples Written on Racism

The Differences and Similarities of Articles Written by Neil Bissoondath and Brent Staples Written on Racism

Racism – it is a term that a majority of people know of, yet it is possibly the most abused. Nowadays, people use the term “racist” lightly and out of context. No one ever thinks about the actual meaning of racism or how easily they give themselves power to degrade others. Neil Bissoondath and Brent Staples have written articles on racism. Both pieces have similarities and differences. The pieces are similar in the causes of racism but different in the examples and solutions to racism.

Will Discrimination Always Be a Part of the Human Condition?

Will Discrimination Always Be a Part of the Human Condition?

I believe that racism and discrimination will always be a part of the human condition and can not be eradicated from society because people will always look for someone else to blame for their problems and because people believe they are better than others. Although many people left their racist ways behind, there will always be someone who will discriminate against another group of people. Two examples that prove my point are the Holocaust and slavery.

Multiculturalism and Effects of Social Discrimination

Multiculturalism and Effects of Social Discrimination

The bad aspect of multiculturalism is that many minorities suffer from social discrimination. Since the big waves of immigration in the early 60’s in most industrialized countries, some ethnic groups still have difficulties to integrate themselves to the community because of their race or their religion. This discrimination creates poverty, anger and political exploitation.

One of the most obvious consequences of discrimination is that those minorities suffer from poverty. In fact, some racist employers refuse to hire people who are “different”. Thus, many of these victims are unemployed. These racist employers rather choose a “white profile” for instance. Moreover, discriminated people confront the same situation when they want to rent an apartment; they are not only unemployed, but also homeless.

Why Affirmative Action is Detrimental to Society in all Facets

Trying Less: Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is “supposed” to help balance the gap between minorities and the majority when it comes to situations like college education and job opportunities. Although the idea of affirmative action sounds great, it hinders hardworking individuals from gaining acceptance in a field of study or employment simply because they are not in the “minority”. An individual should never be denied an equal opportunity in any situation but should not be given a “right of passage” simply because a school or business needs to have a certain number of African Americans, Asians, Latin Americans, and so on. Affirmative action tries to help minorities have the same opportunities as those who may have a better means to higher education or job placement. In actuality however, affirmative action is saying “the color of skin, not education” determines whether or not a college or job accepts an individual. As a result “trying less” is rewarded simply based on economical situation, not educational achievement.

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