Many people ask me where are am I from and my answer is I am from Puerto Rico, and there reaction always is like are you sure you don’t look Puerto Rican you look more like Dominican, and often I ask myself am I Dominican or am I Puerto Rican? Piri Thomas was born in Harlem, New York he was born during the Great Depression. His mother is a light-skinned Puerto Rican and his father very dark skin Cuban. Thomas introduced himself to the world in the prologue of his memoir Down These Mean Streets. This story is about a black son of Puerto Rican and Cuban during the Great Depression in El Barrio, East Harlem, the dehumanizing racism he even faced within his family and neighbors. Piri expends a lot of energy on his efforts to fit in. When his family moves from 111th street to 114th street, Piri is caught up in a new culture but cannot seem to fit in. Piri takes his dark coloring from his father and spends his adolescence trying to balance the need to fit in.
In this short exert form the story Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas, Piri works really hard to fit in with the Italians. At the beginning of the story Piri Thomas starts by saying, “Sometimes you don’t fit in. Like if you’re a Puerto Rican on an Italian block” (Thomas 814). Many people relate to this story, it doesn’t matter where you are born people will always judge you by the way you look. When Piri says “sometimes you don’t fit in”, what he is trying to say is that even though he was born in the U.S but his
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On the other hand, personal experiences of a Puerto Rican woman are shown and she explains how people around her judge her behavior, her actions, and even the way she dresses.
Ann Petry’s novel The Street (1946) is a commentary on the social injustices that confronted the protagonist Lutie Johnson. Lutie is a single African American mother who lives in segregated America during the 1940’s. Throughout the novel, we see that during this time period Lutie is confronted by racism, sexism, and classism on a daily basis while in her pursuit of the American Dream for herself and her son Bub. Lutie is convinced that if she follows the example of Benjamin Franklin, by working hard and saving wisely, she will be able to achieve the dream of being financially independent and therefore be able to move out from the Street in which she is confined to. Benjamin Franklin is embodied in the text through the character Junto. It is Junto that is supposed to get Lutie closer towards her dream. However, Junto, through his secret manipulations tries to possess Lutie sexually, ultimately leading Lutie towards her path of destruction and she ends up committing the murder of Junto’s henchman, Boots. Junto represents the writer Petry’s deep disillusionment with this cultural myth of the so-called American dream. In Richard Wright’s novel Native Son (1940), The protagonist Bigger Thomas, is a 20-year-old African American youth who grew up in segregated America during the 1930s. Throughout this novel, we see Bigger also striving towards the pursuit of the American Dream. Bigger risks everything to not compromise his pursuit towards success. Unfortunately, he ends up falling
Culture in urban communities, also referred to as inner-cities, are growing increasingly violent. In the article, The Code of the Streets by Elijah Anderson, he begins to take an in-depth look at the root of the evil. He deduces that economic factors, parenting and the troublesome environments largely influence the violent norms within this culture.
The theme of the book, We Beat the Streets, spins around collaboration and determination. The three characters, Sampson, Rameck, and George experienced childhood in a unpleasant neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. Even at a young age they were confronted with risks. Some of these risks included prisons, gangs, and drugs. They needed to choose at a young age to stick together and make it out of the ruined neighborhood they grew up in.
Stereotypes are dangerous weapons in our society. “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria” is a short essay in which the award winning poet and professor of English, Judith Ortiz Cofer, wishes to inform and persuade the audience that labels and stereotypes can be humiliating and hurtful. The author targets the general public, anyone that doesn’t understand that putting someone in a box because of a stereotype is wrong. Cofer starts out the essay by telling the reader a story with a drunk man who re-enacted “Maria” from the West Side Story, and how angry that made her feel. She continues by explaining how she grew up in the United States being a Puerto Rican girl trying to fit in, but always being labeled as an island girl. Cofer carries on by explaining why Latin people get dressed and act a certain way. Then she recalls some more stereotypical incidents.
Several communities are known for having residents from a specific ethnic group. Oscar Casares delves deeper behind this topic in his essay, “Crossing the Border without Losing your Past,” where he discusses how vital it is for an individual to hold onto the roots of their ancestors as well as practicing its rich culture and traditions. Due to prominent similarities in culture, language, life style, and cuisine, many individuals from a certain race live in a community with others of their kind, hence the gathering of neighborhoods in unison. Thus, Casares states, “In my hometown, Brownsville, Tex., almost everyone I know is Mexicano: neighbors, teachers, principals, … rich and poor, short and tall, fat and
When living in Puerto Rico we were the same as everyone else. We never felt any oppression. We understood that there were people of different shades of skin color but it wasn’t an identifier for us. I believe the only thing that made us different was that our mother was Dominican and
In Neon Vernacular, Yusef Komunyakaa brought to the forefront the struggles of African American soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War. They fought for the freedom of the very ones that denied them their freedom to be equal and the same as their white counterparts. The collection of poems delves into the everyday matters that were a constant reminder for the African American soldiers that they were free to fight, but not free to be as the white soldiers. An analysis of Komunyakaa’s work opens the eyes of those who felt that the Vietnam War zone was an equal opportunity for all those who fought for America. In addition, the realities of racism that existed in the Vietnam War are highlighted.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists." This quote applies to the book titled "The King of Mulberry Street" written by Donna Jo Nampoli. The book progressively explains the journey taken by a young Napolian Jew as he traveled to America. Beniamino, the protagonist, arrives in America alone in search for money, food, and shelter. The novels central idea is about acceptance. The texts central idea is shared within the poems, " “My Name" by Sandra Cisneros and, “Miss Clements Second Grade,” by Maryfrances Cusamano Wagner. Both poems discuss characters attempting to fit in by wanting to change themselves.
Paul Watt and Kevin Stenson, The Street: It’s a bit dodgy around there’ safety, danger, ethnicity and young people’s uses of public spaces, chapter 15 in Geographies of youth, youth cultures: Cool places The aim of this chapter is to question young people’s feelings and experiences when moving around a town in the South East of England. The town, named Thamestown by the authors. The area in which Thamestown is location, is described as a predominantly white, wealthy middle class area of the south east of England. Between June 1994 and July 1995 Watt, Stenson and other researchers investigated, how an ethnically mixed group of young people use public spaces in terms of danger and safety. Several key points arise in this chapter. Racial segregation
The greatest problem that the society faces in the inner city black community is the interpersonal violence and aggression created by the troubled youth in their society. By simply living in this kind of violent, innocent people are affected by crimes such as burglaries, carnapping and drug related incident and shootings.
After figuring out that being Italian and Australian doesn’t matter, she reassures herself, Jacob says ‘You people should go back to your own country if you’re so confused.’ Josie responds ‘‘This is my country,’ I whispered.’ (The fact that she whispers demonstrates her shock and also her lack of conviction that she truly belongs which shows us that she has accepted her culture and heritage.) Therefore I have learnt that change can show us things that we’ve never seen before and with change, we learn to accept things for the better.
Throughout the article “The Code of the Streets,” Elijah Anderson explains the differences between “decent” and “street” people that can be applied to the approaches of social control, labeling, and social conflict theories when talking about the violence among inner cities due to cultural adaptations.
In this paper, I plan to first describe the “Code of the Street” which is a term coined and a book written by Elijah Anderson. I would also summarize and describe two journal articles that test Anderson’s idea of the “Code of the Street” for a more definite explanation. I will tell how the two articles that I have chosen relates to some of the concepts that Anderson talked about in the book. I will then define general strain theory and social learning or differential association theory. Lastly, I will explain how general strain theory and social learning theory or differential association theory explain some of the behaviors that were seen by the individuals in the book published by Anderson. I will point out some of the individual’s behavior and demonstrate whether it may lead to crime or whether the behavior was learned in any way.
After having read the novel “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros I will now concentrate on the background of the novel that moved Sandra Cisneros to write it by investigating the novel with special regard to its different dimensions.