Impact Of Rasicm On Idenity In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

1962 words - 8 pages

In society, there are many misconceptions in terms of racism. According to the merriam-webster dictionary, racism is define the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others . Many people would agree with that definition. What is racism? The normal person if asked will simply reply, not liking someone for the color of their skin. Racism from my attitude which is substantiated by historical events is a system of power .Therefore is a system of power that is used to control the world and its people. Racism was employed by Europeans to subjugate and discriminate against other groups, in particular Africans/black people. It is also a power which ran through a systemic way to hinder and sabotage other groups. The system is so elaborate that it almost seems nonexistent on a systematic level. Hence, this is why many people do not think it exists anymore. Racism is pervasive in society and remains a silent code which has a profound effect society. Ralph Ellison author of the award¬-winning novel, Invisible Man deals with racism and how it effect an individual . I would analyze racism and display how it effect ones identity .
Vocabulary, defines identity as an individual characteristic by which a thing or person is recognized or known. In other words it is how one views, look, sees and defines themselves. Many people identity are influenced by religion, environment, parents, culture, gender, teachers and textbooks. Media also can play a role in shaping one’s identity. This can include internet, news, movies, radio and etc. One’s identity can be shaped by many different things or experiences. The things that shaped my identity are family, race, culture and my environment. My race is very important to me and that is how I know it played a major role in shaping my identity. My race represents my ancestors who are a part of me. To gain more insight on identity and racism, and the effect on each other, I contacted Trevor Musa who is African American and studies African American history. Mr. Musa stated that,
“Racism has many facets on how it effect ones identity and one of the most paramount being racism via media propaganda. News media and Hollywood are the two main vehicles of identity theft among African people. In Hollywood, blacks are always shown in a position of reluctant assistance or sub servant i.e. butler, helper and or slave. Apart from these sub-servant positions, news media almost always show many of us as animals and criminals of the lowest morals. Consequently, through the system of programming, constant repetitions of demoralizing images are perpetuated, and with no other source of reference to rely upon, blacks often consciously and subconsciously accept those images. Moreover some people, rather most become not only to accept those images, but many Black disassociate themselves from their race. It is as if they do not want to belong to race...

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