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…
After reviewing the presentation of Team D, I concluded from their problem statement that their plan for Black & Decker moving forward is to focus on the Professional-Tradesmen segment since it is their segment with the lowest market share. They focused on this problem because even though the Professional Tradesmen segment is the smallest of the three segments, Professional Industrial, Professional Tradesmen, and Consumer, it is the fastest growing. As a follow up to their problem statement,…
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…
Although the Black Death first occurred in/throughout Asia, the trading ships from there were sent to Europe, and the plague spread slowly from there, the first city that got hit by the plague was Sicily in October when a fleet of Genovese trading ships landed there, one month later, the disease had spread to Marseille. And then during the next year the plague had spread throughout Venice, Italy, Paris, England London and Austria, the year after that the plague spread throughout Germany,…
Don't let the name fool you: a black hole is anything but empty space. Rather, it is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area - think of a star ten times more massive than the Sun squeezed into a sphere approximately the diameter of New York City. The result is a gravitational field so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. In recent years, NASA instruments have painted a new picture of these strange objects that are, to many, the most fascinating objects in space.
“The Black Panthers were formed in California in 1966 and they played a short
but important part in the
party’s original purpose was to patrol African American neighbourhoods to protect
residents from acts of police brutality” says
In October of
1965, in Oakland California, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther
Party for SelfDefense…
Intro to Anthropology
23 October 2014
The Black Death
A study done by Sharon DeWitte uncovered clues on the survivors of the 14th century Black Death medieval plague. The study suggests that the people whom survived the plague actually ended up living significantly longer and healthier lives than the people who lived before this epidemic in 1347. The Black Death plague was caused by a bacteria known as Yersinia pestis. The plague cleared out promptly 30 percent of…
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 Swan Film Analysis
Darren Aronofsky exposed the unseen side of the art of ballet in the movie Black Swan. The psychological thriller demonstrates the competitive and demanding atmosphere that each dancer in the ballet world is forced to endure in order to succeed. The movie unfolds around an adaptation of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s renowned production Swan Lake, where Nina Sayers, a talented and devoted, but mentally unstable dancer, guides the audience through the story from her point of…
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…