Black and White by Thomas Essay

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Black and White by Thomas

“Who am I?” (Thomas 415). Many ask themselves this relevant question in times of self-doubt or ambivalence. Leona Thomas asks this question in her essay entitled, “Black and White.” As the child of a black father and a white mother, Thomas finds herself in a racial dilemma. Society punishes Thomas for being “mixed.” Through the use of the literary techniques of pathos, logos, and inductive reasoning, Thomas effectively persuades the reader that society should look beyond one’s mixture. She shows that racial orientation should not determine how a person is perceived by society, and that the people in society should stop being racist to one another.

Thomas uses pathos in order to demonstrate the
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I was asked to leave, and when I and a few others protested, we were threatened and forced out” (417-418). Thomas purposely uses this example to broaden the emotional demographic of her essay. The fact that her dismissal was based on her white racial appearance would affect the emotions of a white reader. Clearly, Thomas is playing both fields by providing emotional examples that appeal to both racial spectrums. This strategy makes her essay even more persuasive because the reader, whether minority or white, can relate to the writer’s experiences. The reader is also more prone to be affected emotionally because he or she can relate to the text. As a result, Thomas effectively uses pathos to demonstrate how society should not prejudge or discriminate based on one’s racial orientation.

Thomas uses logos to show the division between the black and white communities. Logos provides the reader with vital information that plays an important role in the persuasive integrity of the text. In the second paragraph, Thomas refers to her fair skin complexion to imply that she feels more welcomed by whites based on her appearance, but not her true identity. She states, “My presence rarely causes the uneasy reactions that often occur when someone black enters a predominantly white social setting” (416). The reader realizes that the writer senses fear from whites when blacks are present. This analysis clearly shows that Thomas thinks white

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