In the personal narrative “The Grandfather” by Gary Soto, he illustrates the theme that one’s family is important because a family has many values which changes and “grows” over a period of time, and a family with a good base or good roots will be able to come together and be one. This can be seen in many times across the narrative. Such as, nearing the end of the narrative which is describing the avocado tree and the growth of the avocado tree over time.
A sentence from someone may mean one thing, but an action can have a million different meanings behind it so which one would you judge a person from? Many people experience fear and are scared to face them, so instead of standing up against it they just decide to be a new person. Their minds are manipulated to not face their anxiety and are frightened about what will happen to them. People think that being fearful of something and to overcome it is a difficult task. People often mistaken their strength to fight their fear and decide to give up. Both stories, “Quicksand” and “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” share the common theme of how they use fear as an excuse to escape to a new world, they become a different person and get rid of
“I can’t believe that’s true!” I exclaimed, my laughter echoing through the room. My grandpa and I had been chatting on the phone for the past half an hour. You would imagine a man his age would be boring and dull. However, he was quite the joker. At least with me, since I was, of course, his favorite granddaughter.
Family dynamics across all races are complex. For the state of the black family is made even more complicated by a history rooted in slavery. Fractured families were born out of a system where husbands were taken away, jailed or killed, leaving the family weakened with a mother and/or grandmother at the helm. While these historical facts may be true; that the black family is weak, can be argued. Yet, the family for many in the black community and other communities of color extend to include a large number of kin. On the other hand, it can also be argued that since families were ripped apart during the slave trade it created an opportunity for setting up networks of support and family units to include members who may not be blood related. You often hear black people refer to an elder as “aunt” or “uncle” these networks were put in place as protective factors in the event that parents were sold there was an assurance that someone would care for the children. To an extent this behavior continues to this day as we see many fathers sentenced to long jail terms for petty crimes or killed. The family structure makeup may be a blood relative and it may also be kin of another kind. LaShawnDa Pittman discusses how these factors shape the African-American family and how slavery impacted the role of the mother and father within the family system. During slavery there wasn’t any possibility of childhood. Children were socialized to begin work at the age of
James McBride was born in 1957 to Ruth and Dennis McBride and was raised in Brooklyn’s Red Hook projects with his eleven brothers and sisters (Bodhos 2). In 1997 McBride’s bestselling memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother was published. The story is uniquely written in double voice with chapters alternating between chapters as the author recounts his life growing up as a biracial child and his mother recalls in detail her disownment from her Orthodox Jewish family, marrying a black man and successfully raising twelve biracial children. The connection of the two stories is compelling
The narrator of The Autobiography grows up his whole life thinking that he is white. It is not until one fateful day in school where a teacher indirectly tells him that he is black that he finds out. This revelation, which he himself describes as “a sword-thrust” (Johnson 13), suggests a transformation, a great change, a development in the Ex-Colored Man’s racial consciousness in the future. However, as M. Giulia Fabi says, “[The ECM’s] proclaimed loyalty to his ‘mother’s people’ is continuously undercut by his admiration for and identification with mainstream white America” (375). She also indicates how when contrasted with previous passers, “the Ex-Colored Man’s oft-noted cowardice,
Imagine a memoir with skillfully alternating chapters between two characters that have distinct differences. It 's what sets James McBride 's chronicle from your average, everyday book as this story as he packs a healthy amount of content such as issues of race, religion, and identity into one paperback. Published in February 1998, it maintained the New York Times bestseller list for over 2 Years, won the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Literary Excellence, was an ALA Notable Book of the Year, and has sold more than 1.5 million copies. It has been published in 16 languages and in more than 20 countries. It is an autobiography that sort of strays away from the common formula, however it still retains the core welcoming feeling you get when you can relate to the characters. McBride recognizes what a wonder his mother is when she raised 12 kids and gets her to open her secretive past.
My objective for writing this essay on the black family was to examine and interrogate a myriad of stereotypes surrounding this family structure. Slavery and its inception need to be explored because it enables one to acquire a better understanding of the modern day black family. It is my hope that once we achieve this level of understanding, if not acceptance, that we may be able to start the healing process that is so necessary.
The narrator of The Autobiography of an Ex-colored Man was born to a “colored” mother and white father. This combination of his identity led him to encounter many internal and external challenges. Physically he appeared white, so he experienced being able to “pass” as both “colored” or white whenever he wished. Being able do such a thing, the narrator struggled with racial boundaries. He embodied almost every permutation, intentional or unintentional, of the experience when encountering various racial (white and “colored”) communities, eventually deciding to pass as white at the end of the novel. Due to cowardice, instead of representing his race, he suppressed the African-American part of his identity and destroyed his chances of
Identity communicates a strong characteristic that cannot naturally be expressed in terms of a social category. Social and personal identity enable the formation of an individual, reflecting the idea that social categories are assured with the bases of an individual’s self esteem. “Race and racial identity are identifiable as a social constriction culture” (Little and McGivern, 328). However, issuing social categories based on race or ethnicity links to biased regulations and practices. Johnson’s novel, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, examines ways racial identity is socially constructed through the segregation of Jim Crow Laws, the act of "passing off” another race, and through practices of lynching. The Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man explores the way racial identity is socially constructed within legally sanctioned forms of racism and discrimination.
The reading made me think of how homesick I feel, and not having my mom in the same place as me. It makes me think of the times my mother would come into my room in the mornings to get me up for school, because of how important it is to her and my father that I get an education and make something of myself. Everyone has hopes and dreams, but not many get to follow through with them, because sometimes life just gets in the way. I feel this is why our parents or elders do what they can to help us be better people for ourselves and others, while striving to accomplish our dreams.
External factors such as incarceration, hard times, high death rates and the disproportion of men to women are linked to the absentee of the father in African American communities (McAdoo, 1997). The father’s absence is one of the main causes of poor well being of adolescence. It is a leading cause of social issues that’s prone to change the shape of society (Walton, 2015). Although this may be the case, the effects of the absentee father have a stronger impact on males in correlation to females. Overall, young black males are more heavily affected than males of any other race that live in father-less home. Effects do not always have to be from a negative perspective;
I have an abundance of grotesque, yet, barely visible memories of childhood. However, no breathtaking family trips, no unique family togetherness that taught a moral lesson, no abnormal holidays. We still ate family meals together, but most often the children and adults lived in different worlds. When I needed comforting or wanted the best of both worlds, I could turn to my Grandpa.
I think the person who has had the most profound effect on my life besides my parents is my grandfather. I never realized before how much of an effect he had on my interests and goals for the future. Years ago, he used to tell me stories about historical events and experiences he had fighting in Vietnam and my great grandfather fighting in World War 2. His vivid descriptions always made it so interesting and, in some cases, more light-hearted than what actually happened. To this day he still has more stories to tell me, and never fails to captivate my interest. In doing this, he opened my eyes to my biggest interest, history, and encouraged me to pursue this interest throughout school. I feel like it would help to give a short summary of his life and how it affected me.
When we were together we were invincible, us against the world. I’d look up to him, not only because he was 6’4, but because he was my grandpa. I have clear memories of him picking me up from school, playing old school reggae music during our adventurous car rides. We’d always sing along to our favorites, sometimes turn the music up so loud the people in the cars next to us could hear it. When I would visit his apartment, the familiar smell of drywall and pennies would fill the air. It was my hideaway, my home away from home. My grandpa collected pennies in water jugs. He would say that one day they’d be worth more than just pennies. I loved it there, not only because he had a freezer filled with many flavors of ice cream to which he would often say to me “you can have all you can eat” but because it was our time to bond. For five years it was my mom, my dad, and my grandpa helping me to grow. Those are my favorite people, my role models. Being around my grandpa brought me such comfort and joy.