To Be, or Not to Be Black “Are you black?” is a question that I have encountered in my life countless times. The following conversations are always so similar it is almost as if they were scripted. I answer “yes”, but the person proceeds to tell me why I am not black. They say that I am too light-skinned, that I have “white-people hair”, or that I do not act black. I always wonder what makes these people think that they have the authority to tell me who I am. Despite being annoyed by their ignorance, I explain how I am indeed a black person. Having to constantly deal with encounters such as these has conditioned me to be ready to prove that I am black to anyone that questions me. It is troubling that people have to provide reasons as to why they are black, but it seems as if that is how society is today. After my experiences and observations of the “black” world around me, it has become evident that the population of “true” black people is very limited. Being “black" involves meeting certain standards set by society, dealing with stereotypes on a daily basis, and the ever so constant struggle to climb the social ladder. According to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, black means “of or relating to a race of people who have dark skin and who come originally from Africa” (Merriam-Webster). The Oxford English Dictionary defines black in a variety of ways ranging from “denoting a member of any dark-skinned group of peoples”, to “enveloped in darkness”, and “deeply stained with dirt; soiled, filthy, begrimed” (OED Online). If official dictionaries recognize that anyone from African descent is black, why is that society cannot? Discrepancies between the dictionary definition of black and society’s definition of black elicit the controversy of what makes someone black. It appears that society has unofficial requirements a person must meet in order to be considered black. A person must act a certain way, do certain things, and go through certain kinds of experiences a “true” black person would go through. A friend once told me that if I have not seen the movie Love and Basketball I am not black because every black person has seen it. That comment struck a nerve because it was ridiculous that according to her, the difference between being black and white was something as simple as seeing a movie. Another requirement black people have to meet is how a black person should look. Apparently, a black person should be dark skinned and should not have “good” hair. However, this is the complete opposite of reality because black people have evolved into many different looks and makes. Now it seems as if the number of “true” black people is slowly shrinking. Stereotypes play a role in the daily life of black people. Sadly, most of the time the negative stereotypes are what represent black people as a whole. As a result from the stereotyping, a lot of other cultures look down on black people and their ways. Some of the stereotypes claim that all black people are thugs, low-lives, basketball players, and all sag their pants. The striking fact is that most of the stereotypes exist in other cultures, yet the focus is always on black people. Negative stereotypes have such a prominent role in black culture that the positive outcomes in the black community are often dismissed. For example, some of the country’s best entertainers, athletes, and politicians, including the President, are black (Raspberry 315). Even if these “elite” black people have not gained respect from everyone, no one can deny the fact that they are successful. Many fall victim to the dismissal of success when they should be receiving praise for their accomplishments. It is almost as if all black people are being placed into a proverbial box of people that are bad influences. Stereotypes should never be allowed to become a blanket term for a group of people. Everyone is unique and society needs to start acknowledging this fact. The Oxford English Dictionary’s
Black on black violence is an enormous problem in the African-American community. Living in a neighborhood that is mostly minority, many may have witnessed a lot of black on black violence. The black on black violence has continued to arise in many communities and continues to be a problem around the world. Black on black violence is ignorant, and many black Americans should be coming together instead of killing one another. African-Americans people should be helping each other achieve in the world…
The story of black Orpheus is one that is very complex with many symbols. I personally had a
hard time understanding the movie because of my lack of knowledge of The ancient Greek God
Orpheus. According to several online searches orpheus “
was a legendary musician, poet, and
ancient Greek religion
. The major stories about him are centered on his
ability to charm all living things with his music, his attempt to retrieve his wife…
The black Death
Eduardo A. Pérez & Michel Santos
Mr. Poe 3rd period AP history
Origin & symptoms
Discovered after an outbreak in China in
1330 moved to Europe in October 1337.
Carrier would display symptoms 3-4 days
Fever, headaches, chills, weakness,
swollen/tender lymph nodes and large
Although not contagious person to person
the plague spread because of the mass
amounts of flea carrying rats.
Before the plague popes of the Roman…
Essay “The Little Black Boy”
Throughout “The Little Black Boy” by William Blake the theme of guardianship and the clear act of protection is very prominent within the poem. It is clear to the reader of the roles taking place through 3 events. Through God, the mother and the Little Boy himself, this act of guardianship between characters as the poem develops “”. It is also evident the racial thoughts expressed by the Little Black Boy “bereaved of light” through links made to the white child as…
To what extent did the Emancipation Proclamation + 14th Amendment make Black Americans more free in the period 1863-1877?
When determining to what extent black Americans became freer in the period of reconstruction, you must consider the political, social, legal and economic changes that took place as well there place in society before the acts were passed. Prior to the Emancipation proclamation “At least four thousand Negro’s owned slaves” and that “slavery was declining rapidly” in the “last…
Black Band Disease
By Mitchell Jones
Tolerating a very narrow range of environmental conditions including temperature, salinity, and solar radiation, reefs are very sensitive to damage from environmental changes. Corals, in particular, are susceptible to a number of diseases including black band disease, white band disease, and coral bleaching.
Black band disease was first described in the early 1970s as a black band moving on the surface of star corals and brain corals. It destroys live tissue…
influences on culture that perpetuates stereotypical “black” and “white” cultures. One of the many influences on these two cultures would have to be food. Food is a major influence because it is known amongst both cultures that only certain foods are appropriate for a culture to eat or cook in their particular group.
In the black culture the most famous of foods that they are known for is fried chicken, soul food, and watermelon. It has been known of black culture to eat majority of these foods hence…
H. L. Mencken, which struck him with particular force. As Wright reveals in his autobiography Black Boy, he borrowed the library card of an Irish co-worker and forged notes to the librarian so he could read: "Dear Madam: Will you please let this nigger boy have some books by H. L. Mencken?" Determined to leave the South before he would irretrievably overstep the bounds of Jim Crow restrictions on blacks, Wright took the train to Chicago in December 1927.
In Chicago Wright worked at the post office…
Black separatism is a movement to create separate institutions for people of African descent in societies historically dominated by whites, particularly in the United States. Black separatists also often seek a separate homeland. Black separatists generally think that black people cannot advance in a society dominated by a white majority.
In his discussion of black nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s, the historian Wilson Jeremiah Moses observes that "black separatism…
Was the Black Death a disaster?
The Black Death was a disease that killed lots of people. There are lots of reasons the Black Death could have been a disaster but also reasons that show the disease was a good thing.
One of the biggest things that affected medieval villages after the disease was bad crops. Lots of people were staying indoors and away from everyone else so they would not be infected but this meant that crops were abandoned. An immediate change was that lots of people died which…