White spaces trump black experience in Suzan-Lori Parks’s Topdog/Underdog and Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun. According to Elijah Anderson, a Yale professor specializing in black sociology, the domination and subjugation of black experiences in white spaces is a normalized practice: “White people typically avoid black space, but black people are required to navigate the white space as a condition of their experience” (Anderson 10). These aforementioned ‘white spaces’ are defined as any space that is overwhelmingly white and often feel “off limits” for black bodies (Anderson 14). No moment in either of these two plays better encapsulates the sentiment of “off limit” spaces than Lindner’s visit to the Youngers’ home in Raisin in the …show more content…
That’s right. Care for something to drink? Ruth, get Mr. Lindner a beer.
LINDNER. (Upset for some reason) Oh—no, really. I mean thank you very much, but no thank you.
RUTH. (Innocently) Some coffee?
LINDNER. Thank you, nothing at all.
(BENEATHA is watching the man carefully)
LINDNER. Well, I don’t know how much you folks know about our organization. (He is a gentle man; thoughtful and somewhat labored in his manner) It is one of these community organizations set up to look after—oh, you know, things like block upkeep and special projects and we also have what we call our New Neighbors Orientation Committee… (76-77).
The simple offerings of a beer by Walter and coffee by Ruth visibly upset him. Lindner goes on to reject the space with every offer made to him by the Youngers. It becomes clear that Lindner’s frustration is directly correlated with the fact that his mere presence implies he must acquiesce to the black space in an effort to protect his own white space—an experience that Anderson writes as all too similar for the black America, but clearly a difficult feat for Lindner as he struggles to politely reject the Youngers’ beer, coffee, and blackness. The hateful sentiment of Lindner’s efforts to maintain the sanctity of his white spaces goes even
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Staple’s “Black Men in Public Spaces” and Rae’s “The Struggle” address misperceptions with ethnicity. Staples and Rae share similar circumstances making it easy to understand each viewpoint. Culture settings and gender define the authors’ differences. Both essays give the readers different perceptions of African Americans’ lives.
Even in modern society, the simplest of things can shift the delicate atmosphere. A black man entering a room, or any space, full of white people, can automatically transform the ambiance. This ‘ability’ may not be a desired effect, but in certain situations, it becomes inevitable. Through the use of different rhetorical devices, Brent Staples is able to demonstrate his realization of his “ability to alter public space in ugly ways” simply because of his race and stature in his essay, “Black Men and Public Space.” Staples uses the rhetorical techniques ethos, logos, and pathos in order to get on the “same side” as the reader while still presenting the essence of his argument. The author is able to sympathize with his “victims” and justify their feelings, appealing to ethos. He also analogies and details about his background, such as his doctorate in psychology, and the fact that he was a reporter to appeal to logos. Additionally, by using vivid imagery and creative diction, he engages the reader by use of pathos, evoking the emotions of the reader. With the use of rhetorical devices, Staples is able to effectively describe his experiences of being perceived as a criminal, solely based on his “unwieldy inheritance” (205), while, additionally, extending this concept to be true throughout society.
Brent Staples “Black Men and Public Space” is a look at how people perceive black people in the 1960s. Staples explains how people would treat him on a day to day basis. Even when he was a child he would be looked at differently because of his color. He quickly establishes ethos, logos and pathos credibility tough the many examples. This article shows the injustices done to him while living in New York. Brent Staples Black Men and Public Space uses pathos, ethos, and logos effectively throughout the essay.
Author and editorial writer for the New York Times, Brent Staples, skillfully uses both his educational and racial background to exemplify and reflect on the harrowing times black men faced during the mid-1900’s. Growing up the oldest of 9 in 1951, he pushed himself through primary schooling and against the predications of most, was accepted into college where he earned his B.A, and eventually, a coveted Ph.D. His anthology of literary works focus on politics and cultural issues and popularly include, Parallel Time: Growing up in Black and White, which won the Anisfield Wolf Book Award, An American Love Story, and the piece in mention, Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space.
The Younger family has not been able to experience the finer things in life, and Walter, being the authoritative male figure, feels he is at fault knows that a change is needed. Walter’s solution is to use his father’s life insurance money to fund the acquiring of a liquor license. The women of the household are always ordering around Walter. It’s Ruth, Mama, or Beneatha telling him how to run things, and when he gets a chance to take the initiative by using the money to invest in his liquor license, his friend betrays him, and his dreams are crushed.
Throughout the novel it is apparent that everyday instances of racism occur, causing people of color to feel outcasted. There are two very obvious occasions where this happened. In the first instance two African American woman are in a workspace of primarily all white co-workers. When a woman they worked with got these two names mixed up, it was stated that she had a “fifty-fifty chance of getting it right” insinuating that these two women are the only black ones working here. Later, the woman who had the mix-up with the names wrote an apology note; however, in the note she stated it was “our mistake” and seemingly put part of the blame on the to women. This is a primary example of how African Americans can be thrown against a white background making them seem different than everyone else.
The early 1900s was a very challenging time for Negroes especially young women who developed issues in regards to their identities. Their concerns stemmed from their skin colors. Either they were fair skinned due mixed heritage or just dark skinned. Young African American women experienced issues with racial identity which caused them to be in a constant struggle that prohibits them from loving themselves and the skin they are in. The purpose of this paper is to examine those issues in the context of selected creative literature. I will be discussing the various aspects of them and to aid in my analysis, I will be utilizing the works of Nella Larsen from The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, Jessie Bennett Redmond Fauset,
Walter does not have control over his own responsibilities. Therefore, if he was given all the resources needed to provide his family his poor judgement and lack of business sense would create further stress on the family. Ruth, Mama, and his sister Beanetha attack him from every angle about his doubtful ideals. Ironically, those ideals are what Walter needs to shape and justify his manhood. Without ideals and proper resources to obtain them, a man's existence can be regarded as insignificant. There are many obstacles in the way of Walter?s dream of opening a liquor store, as he tries to explain to his wife, Ruth, about what he has to do, ?Baby, don?t nothing happen for you in this world ?less you pay somebody off!?(Hansberry 33) Walter's determination to open the liquor store can be viewed as means to an end to his family?s hardships.
In the short story “Drenched in Light” by Zora Neale Hurston, the author appeals to a broad audience by disguising ethnology and an underlying theme of gender, race, and oppression with an ambiguous tale of a young black girl and the appreciation she receives from white people. Often writing to a double audience, Hurston had a keen ability to appeal to white and black readers in a clever way. “[Hurston] knew her white folks well and performed her minstrel shows tongue in cheek” (Meisenhelder 2). Originally published in The Opportunity in 1924, “Drenched in Light” was Hurston’s first story to a national audience.
Though there was a heightened sense of tension over civil rights in the late 1950s when A Raisin in the Sun was written, racial inequality is still a problem today. It affects minorities of every age and dynamic, in more ways than one. Though nowadays it may go unnoticed, race in every aspect alters the way African-Americans think, behave, and react as human beings. This is shown in many ways in the play as we watch the characters interact. We see big ideas, failures, and family values through the eyes of a disadvantaged group during an unfortunate time in history. As Martin Luther King said, Blacks are “...harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what
“Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination” written by American author, feminist and social activist, bell hooks, dissects the dichotomy of black and white culture in a westernized society. Hooks utilizes the term ‘whiteness’ throughout her piece as an acknowledgment of the domination, imperialism, colonialism, and racism that white people have asserted among black people. This discipline progressively has evolved from history; through slavery and forth, leaving an imprint in
Claudia Rankine analyze racism to its core, bringing to surface that miniscule event are just as problematic as televised one. Her words are beautifully brutal, striking up emotions for anyone that reads it. As readers we are taken through a journey from past to present events of racial incidents experienced by different genders and ages. Above all, Claudia provides a strong indication that racism is far from over.
Mr. Lindner is sent by his community to convince the family not to move into the neighborhood. He even goes as far as to offer to buy back the house at twice the cost. Mr. Lindner refers to the Youngers’ as “you people” several times and mentions “some of the instances that have happened in various parts of the city when colored people have moved into certain areas” (1984-1986). Beneatha claims that Mr. Lindner is talking “Brother Hood” and saying “how everybody ought to learn how to sit down and hate each other with good Christian fellowship” (1987). If a white family had bought the house and were meeting with Mr. Lindner for the first time, his choice of words and the tone of the evening would have been very different because blacks were not socially accepted by society during this era. Mr. Lindner tells Walter specifically that he is not being racist when he says “I want you to believe me when I tell you that race prejudice simply does not enter into it” and “That our Negro families are happier when they live in their own communities”, which sounds very racist (1986). Some would say that the way the character is talking is just the way that people talked in the 1950s, and others might say that Mr. Lindner is making racial comments.
Note: This essay intends to explain the differences in first and third person narratives, highlighting examples within the two stories “Let them call it Jazz” and “A sense of shame”, both of which deal with racism and its subcultures in a first and third person perspective, respectively. The arguments presented are limited to that of first and third person perspectives only.