Essay Preview: Everyday Racism
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The basis of Everyday Racism is a series of recollections from 150 African Americans from various middle class backgrounds. The author Barnes called upon 146 students at Norfolk University to help her bring the aspects of modern day racism into the light. Her goal is to give Americans a better understanding of the racism that is prevalent in todays society.
In all honesty I dont know how to react to the first half of this book. It stirred up many, well, awkward feelings. It is hard to describe. I grew up in a rural town where diversity is an unknown term and many prejudices are practiced. I have bared witness to many types of racism and outlandish prejudice so many of the recollections were not unfamiliar.
I have seen students physically, verbally and emotionally harass other students due to their skin color or ethnicity. I have heard people say some unimaginably harsh things growing up. My family even lays claim to some small racist tendencies. I, however, like to claim that I am not a racist person, but after reading the first few chapters of the book Im not so sure that I am as pure as I see myself.
As I went through high school I learned about the adversity that African Americans or Blacks (I dont even know how to classify them at this juncture. I dont even know if classify is the proper term to use in this instance.) had faced, but I didnt realize such blatant and passionate racism was still a throng of todays society. These students were beaten, sworn at, spit on, emotionally and physically torn from their friends and loved ones, they, well, were and are just abused.
In the first chapter it is stated that “communication” may be the key to ultimately unlocking the chains surrounding the racial barrier between whites and blacks. I most definitely feel that this is possibly the best way to start and perhaps the overall most effective way to taking down that wall.
The second chapter begins with a brief history of African American education in the past, but continues on to focus on the stage of African American education in the present. There are many things I dont agree with in this section. In one example a student named “Clayton” was enrolled in a school where African Americans were the minority. He decided to take a counselors advice by taking more challenging classes, but he ultimately slacked off and dropped out as a penalty.
The author makes a comment that “Black students need clear assignments and instructionsotherwise black students cannot reach their full