Race Relations in America Essay

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Race Relations in America

American society likes to believe that race relations in our country are no longer strained. We do not want to hear about the need for affirmative action or about the growing numbers of white supremacist groups. In order to appease our collective conscious, we put aside the disturbing fact that racism is alive and well in the great U.S.A. It hides in the workplace, it subtly shows its ugly face in the media, and it affects the education of minority students nationwide. In the following excerpts from an interview with a middle class African American male, the reader will find strong evidence that race plays a major role in determining the type and quality of education a student receives.

The subject of the
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His father ran a small business downtown, which made enough money for them to live comfortably. His mother did not work while they were younger so that she could raise the children herself. The high school counselor immediately assumed my subject came from a dysfunctional black family that cared little for education. She enrolled him in the lower track classes and told him in so many words that “athletics are a great way to get into college.” A few sentences from a misinformed guidance counselor planted the seeds in my subject’s head as to where his high school path would take him.

Taking the counselor’s advice, my subject tried out for football, which led him into the educational world of the black athlete. “I became somewhat of an ‘untouchable’ as far as the teachers were concerned. My coaches got tutors for me, but instead of helping me with my homework they sort of did it for me.” The fact that my subject was a good student, an intelligent student, became overshadowed by the idea that the only way he would be able to go to college was through sports.

When he actually did his own assignments, my subject was disturbed by how little African American history was taught, how much the African culture was ignored. “We spent half a semster on World War I and never talked about the black military units! I learned about the black efforts through my parents!”

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