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“How it Feels to be Colored Me” by Zora Neale Hurston

Free «“How it Feels to be Colored Me” by Zora Neale Hurston» Essay Sample

In the book “How it feels about the life of a black”, the life of a black girl in the United centered on with retrospect to the stereotypes that paralleled to a particular race. As such, it is seen that diverse races of people live in dissimilar places with different livelihoods such as the northerners drive cars and the natives’ horses. The persona in the story is brave enough to start a conversation with people who appeared different from her in terms of color. She is an enthusiastic individual that inclines her to entertain all and sundry; but only realizes her dissimilarity in color when she goes to a school in a different town at thirteen years old. She is, nonetheless, a strong willed individual who does not allow her skin pigmentation to define her destiny. As such, the story narrates the times and places that the persona became aware of her color like at jazz clubs and the times she disregards about her color. Tentatively, the writer insists that equality does not base upon the color of an individual’s skin, but rather all individual are bound to equal. As such, this paper seeks to effectively discuss issues in the contemporary society that include being a black person in the United States, Professions for black people, Discrimination based on race and Race Stereotypes.

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Evidently, the story presents racial discrimination as a contemporary issue in the society. 60 years afterward on, people face discrimination, based on the color of the skin. As such, the black people cannot be employed in certain companies or for certain jobs, they cannot live in certain places and their children cannot go to certain schools. Despite all this, this is an issue that at the moment America can tell just as a story as this great country has shown that it can look beyond race and elect a colored president.

“Buried Prejudice: The Bigot in Your Brain” by Siri Carpenter

This essay is about the perceptions and stereotypes that cloud peoples’ judgments based on race, gender, age and weight of the other person; most of white people would be scared to be in an alley at night with a black person and not a white person. From the social psychologists point of view, stereotypes can be activated by certain scenarios (Roema 1989). One of the reasons why stereotypes occur is because it is human nature to group things together for easier understanding, for example cars move fast. These associations have led to implicit stereotypes that psychologists say we cannot get rid of as it is useful in our everyday lives. The negative part is forming stereotypes that undermine our values: associating Arabs with terrorism. It is, however, pointed out, through scientific testing, that self interest comes in the way of forming associations as people are always inclined to the group they belong to. It is also evident that jokes or catch phrases thrown around by peers, parents or the media reinforce prejudice in people and even children at a tender age.


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As such, the essay covers issues that affect the contemporary ones that include: stereotyping people, sources of stereotypes, measuring of the strength of the stereotypes, effects of stereotypes in society, and controlling negative stereotypes.

One issue brought up in the essay is how implicit attitudes can contaminate our behavior; giving the example of the West African immigrant who was shot 19 times by the police who thought he was reaching for a gun and instead it was a wallet. As much as we cannot live without implicit associations, e.g. associating ice with cold, we need to be very careful as a society as to how much we let our implicit attitudes guide our judgments. Let us not deny someone education opportunity, job opportunity or proper health attention just because of the stereotypes we hold. People can work towards getting rid of negative stereotypes. If not, then we all fail to respect each other and live as brothers and sisters in the same society.

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