Drinking Coffee Elsewhere Essay

Words: 981
Pages: 4

Racism in Drinking Coffee Elsewhere In ZZ Packer’s book entitled Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, we get to see how African Americans cope with their different situations dealing with family, friendship, religion, and the pursuit of prosperity in the world. Within the short story collection there is a story named after the title, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, where we get to see the pressures put on a young African American woman, Dina, that causes her to resort to near complete isolation of herself. Dina says at one point, “We spent the winter and some of the spring in my room- never hers- missing tests, listening to music, looking out my window to comment on people who wouldn’t have given us a second thought”(Packer 140). Dina feels the need …show more content…
If a white person said the same exact comment, they would probably not be treated with such a severe punishment because in the big scheme of things, her comment is not that big of a deal. Dina even displays some racist remarks of her own, such as when she talks to the “black table.” One guy states, “I guess we wont see you till graduation.” She replies with, “If you graduate”(126). Although Dina is a product of racism, even she cannot stop herself from making a racist comment. This example directly relates to the story of Brownies in which Dennis, the only white kid at Woodrow Wilson Elementary, exclaims, “That was so Caucasian”(4). In both instances, it is not justified that Dina and Dennis poke fun at their own races because they are only perpetuating the idea. Racial issues arise frequently in Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, and it demonstrates that even poking a little fun towards the issue only makes it more pervasive. Overall, Packer presents many racical issues in Drinking Coffee Elsewhere in order to show the tribulations that African Americans are forced to endure. As demonstrated through Dina’s charcter, some people grow up in an inescapable situation that shapes them into who they are. The title, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, has a vital meaning because it explains how African Americans feel a lot of the time growing up in a culture that is often unjust. Dina recalls her mothers’ funeral, “I remembered the morning of my mother’s funeral. I’d been given