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Race Relations Essay

976 words - 4 pages

Race relations had been shaped by the slavery background the African Americans are known for, and have been expressed in many different works of literature, including, but not limited to plays, poems, and novels .For well over five hundred years Africans suffered and were being viewed as something less than an animal for labor, but they shaped American history as they broke the chains of slave hood. Even though they were free, white Americans never saw them as equivalent to themselves until the end of the Civil Rights Movement in 1971. Racial identity can cause people to feel ashamed and inferior due to others’ perception of them as out of place and worthless leading them to identify the world around them as limiting and unfair, yet that helped them maintain their dream of overcoming the barrier society has put ,by having ambitions and goals that they one day hoped to reach.
Racial Identity can cause people to feel ashamed and inferior, due to others perception of them. Throughout his life Mr.Z, from the poem Mr.Z by Carl Holman, saw the world as a very limiting place for his race, which is why he saw to express himself as a white man, primarily because he was, "“Taught early that his mother's skin was the sign of error...” (1). His attempt to camouflage into the white society made him, "[Disclaim] kinship with jazz and spirituals ."(4) , and became an “Expert in vintage wines, sauces and salads.”(11) Even though he played out his every move, without fail, in hiding who he was, when he died the obituary writer stated that he was “One of the most distinguished members of his race."(26). It's ironic how even though he spent his whole life trying to perform as a different person as if he was in a play because he was ashamed of his roots, in the end he was recognized for what he really was. In the poem Ka'Ba by Imamu A. Baraka it is written, "A closed window looks down on a dirty courtyard, and black people."(1-2) The closed window mentioned is symbolism for a person who as stated looks down to them. The narrator notices how they are looked down to by a higher authority, making them feel inferior. Even though they are enslaved the hope never dies that one day they will be liberated from their, "grey chains in a place full of winters"(12-13) .Though the world sees them as animals they still see themselves as “beautiful people with African imaginations” (10-11)
Other's perception of African Americans had been synonymous to an error and out of place. In the poem Mr.Z by Carl Holman an African-American man acts and does things that white people were known to do, because of the fact that he was desperately trying to fit into society as something that he wasn't...

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