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Defining blackness in America - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Defining Blackness in America Blackness, by definition, means black the quality or state of the achromatic color of least lightness (bearing the least resemblance to white) (Onelook Dictionary 1). This seems easy enough to understand, but the concept of being black in America, blackness takes on a completely new life of its own…
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Defining blackness in America
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Defining blackness in America

Download file to see previous pages... in order to differentiate blacks from white. The racial line has always put blacks at a distance and hindered them from participating in American culture and politics. It is what has kept African Americans from being given equal opportunities in the U.S., being seen as citizens in the U.S., and being seen as humans in the U.S. Blackness is the best way to explain this complicated relationship African Americans share with America and the whites that they live alongside in this country. There used to be a strong argument in America that being black could affect one’s access to power. There, was an argument that being black was a disadvantage, and that an individual you would be limited in what you could accomplish simply based on the color of your skin. These perceptions would hold true in the past America, but in the modern day America, power is more accessible to people of all races, including African Americans. The argument that African Americans cannot get ahead because of their color is more of a crutch than something is which is factual. Like Toure stated in his book, “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness”, we are going an era where there are so many different ways to be black that nobody has to keep up some pre-conceived black image because, honestly, there is not one (Toure 48). One common perception prevalent among man is that, generally, other people view them based on their physical appearance. This type of perception falls into the psychological concept that Toure refers to as the looking glass self in his book “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness”. This states that people perceive themselves based on the way that their peers perceive them, which leads people to reinforce other people's perspectives of them (Toure 47). Naturally, people want to portray a certain type of image. When you think of individuals who are in power, you typically think of someone who is white and who is male. This is why some believe that blacks who have skin light tones are more likely to be in power than dark skinned African Americans. This color complex has not only shaped the way white Americans view African Americans, but also the way African Americans view other African Americans. A lot of emphasis has been placed on skin color to the extent that, individuals opt for doing anything, to get an appearance that has the impression of taking them to the threshold of becoming successful. The further one strays away from this image the more challenging it becomes for them to have the illusion of power. This outdated view of politics is not a part of how it works anymore. Money, class and contacts fuel the realm of politics and have the say over who gets to be in power and who does not. Being light or dark does not really control how you fit in this modern day political atmosphere (Toure 47). Being light-skinned or dark-skinned does not really control how you fit in this modern day political atmosphere. We are entering an age where people at the top come in all races and nationalities. The journey to this position, however, has not been without its struggles and perils. Black people in America have had to deal with classism and sexism from within, on top of racism from without. African American women have borne the brunt of this in particular with mental and physical oppression from both white and African American males (Bharati 37). Blackness for the African American ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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