Oppression is one of the many techniques used to control people. It is also the most common form of cruelty towards a person as it isn’t a physical act, but a mental one.
Every individual is different from the other, thus his or her way of coping with oppression may vary. Oppressing someone has become so general in today’s society that no one seems to point it out, therefore making it almost seem normal.
In the story “Black+White=Black” by Lawrence Hill, the author illustrates his battle against oppression as an inner struggle. His fight with oppression involves identifying his true self as well as dealing with troubles in finding a sense of belonging. The title “Black+White=Black” indicates that it does not matter whether one of your parents is white and the other is black, in the end you will always be considered black. “Frankly Larry, don’t you think that it is terrible, mixing races like that? It ruins the children! How are they to make their way in life?” (Hill, P229-para3) In retrospect, Hill realized that society tends to disguise many forms of racism and oppression by kind words when surrounded by people. His way of realizing how he was being oppressed affected his sense of identity severely. Not knowing who he was made him feel like he couldn’t fit in or belong to any ethnicity or race. “Learning that I wasn’t white, however, wasn’t the same as learning that I was black. Indeed for the longest time I didn’t learn what I was-only what I wasn’t.” (Hill, P230-para8)
The author portrays the struggles him and his family faced throughout the years. However, in the end he found the long awaited freedom from oppression when he felt accepted by his father’s relatives. Hill then found comfort in the musical genre of jazz and blues, thus making him feel more connected to his ethnic background. In a moment of epiphany he found the courage to accept himself for who he was, therefore overcoming the influence of oppression.
In comparison, in the essay “Three Ways of Meeting Oppression” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. he depicts his fight against oppression interpersonally. His way of coping with oppression was by creating an ideology, presenting it efficiently and helping others who were in the same situation. He believed that there were more ways of dealing with oppression than one perceives.
Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up as a black man amongst a majority of prejudiced Caucasians. His life was full of challenges that he overcame with great difficulty which eventually resulting in him becoming an epic leader in history. His belief and understanding of the issue changed the way people reacted and dealt with oppression. He debated possible ways to counteract oppression in his essay by introducing solutions that were viewed as acceptable and ethical, as well as fascinating. It was impossible to disapprove the implication of such solutions, however it did build some resistance. Essential information helped to fight the battle against prejudiced oppression through his essay. King’s views on oppression assisted African Americans to not discriminate or hate their oppressors but guided them to find an equal common ground for the society in general.
In the essay, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reviews different ways on handling and responding to the oppressor and breaking…