Racial Oppression

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Racial oppression is still a big deal in the U.S. today, after so many years of fighting for the rights of African Americans. How many people have to die? How many people have to suffer? How much longer is it going to take till people learn that color of skin doesn’t define character? We live in a society that still sees melanin as a bad thing when the color starts to matter more than the character, that’s when people need to step up and make a change. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."- Martin Luther King, Jr.
In “A Raisin In The Sun” it talks about the Youngers family and the lack of opportunities they have because they are African Americans. They try to move into a white neighborhood and the people that live in the neighborhood try to prevent them from moving in for the simple fact that they are black. The time period the book was written was in 1959, slavery was abolished in 1865. It’s not a lot of time but it’s a big gap 94 years should be enough to create a change but that was hard I can admit that whites wouldn’t just hand their rights to the black community, because they wanted to be supreme to the African Americans, they still had the mentality that they were better because of their color. It is hard to change in 94 years what had been going on for a long time but 151 years should be enough. Yes, there has been a lot of change but with the election of “A racist, sexist president”. We have begun to walk backward.
The book “the Great Gatsby” talks about rich white people who are unhappy, they have a lot of money and they seem to not care about that. They take what they have for granted and they become unhappy. African Americans is not a topic in this book but I can connect them to this book because they didn’t have much and they weren’t respected, they got killed for being black in the South especially. What do the people in Great Gatsby have that’s so bad? Nothing can ever compare to what African Americans went through, these people claim they want love. All they want is power and fame, but they will end up alone because of it just like Gatsby did.
In the book Grapes of Wrath it shows the Great depression and the difficulties of that time, with people having to move because of the dust bowls and the banks wanting to sell their lands. Those were hard times. Everyone was affected by the great depression, people could put themselves in the shoe of African Americans now with the hard times they were going through. But the reality is that it was much harder for the black community around this time. With the lack of job opportunities things got even worse for the African Americans, by 1932, when the depression hit, half of the black community was unemployed. Whites wanted companies to fire African Americans as long as whites didn’t have a job. With this, the violence became more common against African Americans. The South was even worse for them.

Submitted: April 18, 2017

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Submitted: April 18, 2017




Racial Oppression is when a specific race is restricted with cruelty and when a person imposes on others. The Racial Oppression in the U.S is still a big deal today. The minority group has been oppressed and abused for long enough. Why keep this hatred going if the world has evolved and we all know that we are all equal. What happens is that some people in our society refuse to accept that, and believe that they are better because of their race? Oppressing any other race. This problem is more related to white people oppressing African Americans since before 1860’s and kept going even after Abraham Lincoln passed the 13th Amendment that banned slavery in 1865. This research paper attempts to show how little we have actually evolved.

In the book A Raisin In The Sun, it shows the reader how is being an African American in 1959. The Younger family has been having financial issues. The family fights for the money that Mama is going to receive from insurance company since grandpa died. They fight for the money since they each have their own ideas on what they should do with the money. They have no opportunities and the money is the only thing they have. Mama buys a house in a white neighborhood because she says it’s going to be better for the kids, and for Ruth’s baby since they just found out that she’s pregnant. This house could improve their living condition since the neighborhood is better and safer. The family is not welcomed at all by their new neighbors because of their color. The people think that having an African-American family is going to make the value of the neighborhood go down and the neighborhood itself look bad. This is the way people used to think, we would think it’s over right? And that now people are more welcoming. That is not our reality. Housing segregation is still going on in our society. According to the Economic Development Planner at The Voorhees center, that says that “housing and mortgage policies that kept black residents confined to Chicago's poorer neighborhoods also limited their ability to buy homes and build wealth. As a result, many black residents rent for generations.” Housing segregation is Racism. It is not directly but it is still oppressing a certain group and it should be illegal.

The reality is sad. In the movie Selma, we see the way that African Americans were treated. The movie Selma is a movie that shows the people how the Black community finally gained their rights and how that inspired other groups such as immigrants to also fight for their rights. We see people from every background, race and religion fight along with the African-Americans, showing that not all whites are racist. We are able to see the injustice that was committed against African American families that were marching with Martin Luther King for their rights. Men, women, children, seniors... The cops didn’t care how old you were, they responded with violence because of your color not your age. After the people saw the cruelty on TV they joined MLK. The white community themselves couldn’t watch what their own people were doing to these innocent African Americans. Two white men that joined the march were killed by two cops for trying to help the African Americans, the people in the South could not even stand the idea of their own people helping the black community get their freedom and rights. This movie is a big inspiration since with the people united together they won their rights.  “Who murdered Jimmie Lee Jackson? Every white lawman who abuses the law to terrorize. Every white politician who feeds on prejudice and hatred. Every white preacher who preaches the Bible and stays silent before his white congregation. Who murdered Jimmie Lee Jackson? Every Negro man and woman who stands by without joining this fight as their brothers and sisters are brutalized, humiliated, and ripped from this Earth.” (Martin Luther King, Selma) MLK is trying to get everyone to stand with him for this fight. He wants everyone to understand that by doing nothing, their “Brothers and sisters” will keep being “Brutalized, humiliated and killed”. They need people to stand up for their own people and themselves.

A lot of the times people don’t realize what they have and how fortunate they are to not have to go through what the Youngers in A Raisin in the Sun, or what the people in Selma have to go through, the people in The Great Gatsby are a great example of rich, fortunate people who are selfish and always want more. In The Great Gatsby, all of the characters are bored and unhappy, in this book we can also see that the maids and people that work for these rich people are usually black and are not treated very well. One of the main characters?Tom who only cares about himself and his money says “It’s up to us, who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control of things." (Fitzgerald 17) Tom is a lot like the Southerners that took the rights away from African Americans. He has the mindset that if the Black community starts to be equal things will be bad and the white supremacy will end, he says as if it’s a bad thing that white supremacy will end. That is what we are striving for. White supremacy is a shame. It is a shame that the only way one can feel better is by oppressing others.

In the movie The 13th, it talks about racial oppression, one of the hardest topics that are highlighted in this movie is the cruel death of Emmett Till— A 14-year-old killed in cold blood because he flirted with a white woman. This 14-year-old was beaten so badly that his face was disfigured. A person that can simply kill a child because of something so small is simply not human, that is a monster that practices evil. We would think that after the death of this young man who had so much more to live would end this racism and segregation after the whole world saw what happened, but no. After Emmett Till’s death, there are a million other deaths of young African Americans happening today such as Michael Brown. It doesn’t matter how much we have evolved. We take one step forward and three backward.

The book Grapes of Wrath is about this family that is going through hard times because of the great depression. In the book, the families help each other because of the hardships they all have to face, but together the road is easier to cross. What the families were doing was the same thing that the African Americans were—they were sticking together for the best. The way the families were treated in the camps was not even as bad as the hardships that African Americans had to deal with but it was a great way for them to understand how it truly feels like. The way they have been treated is bad also but the difference is that the people in the book are tricking their own people into bad business and being dishonest when African Americans didn’t stab each other in the back around that time in the way that the community in Grapes of wrath did.

In the movie The Help, it talks about the way that maids were treated, maids who cleaned, cooked and raised white children, were treated very poorly by the people who contracted them– the white families. In the movie Hilly Holbrook played by Bryce Dallas is a white woman who thinks that African Americans are full of diseases and should not use the same bathroom as the white people, promoting segregation once again. These black women raise white children when their own is at home with someone else, they love these kids no matter their color but not all people are like that. The white children love the maids and call them mama sometimes, this shows that racism is taught and no one is just born with it. They treat the children as if it were their own, loving them selflessly because these children don’t see them differently just because of their color and they love and respect them as if they were their mother. The maids are scared of telling Skeeter who is a writer and wants to reveal the world the things maids have to go through, they are scared that they will be killed for saying bad things that they have experienced working in homes, but it’s the truth. “You is kind, you is smart, you is important” (The help, Aibileen) this is the quote that Aibileen used to say to the little girl she raised when she worked for the white family, she used this quote to her when her real mom was rude and punished her daughter for little mistakes that the girl didn’t quite understand yet.

These problems listed in the text might be passed and old but they still come up in our society because this is still happening. The cruelty is still happening, the problems that African Americans faced that time are still faced today. Why choose to hate a person when they could teach you something valuable. What MLK teachings say to never judge someone by their skin color but for their character, also that force in not always the best answer and love overcomes all. The teachings of this paper are that no one is born racist and it is a choice, not a disease. The change is happening but not effectively enough. We still have a lot of work to do and this generation still awaits to see the change and have hope that one day we will live in a world where we all see each other as equals in the human race. We are all humans and that's all that should matter.


© Copyright 2018 Thereza Martins. All rights reserved.

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