A Question of Identity Essay

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A Question of Identity We, no doubt are aware that America is a melting pot of ethnic, persuasion and diversion. Americans often classify people by these measures. However, in certain circumstances these traditional measures do not apply. For example, how would one measure a Puerto Rican of Latino origin who possesses a “black as carbon skin”? (128) In America there exist a parody between skin color and ethnicity: race and ethnicity are often confused and creates questions of identity of the people subjected there under. In the essay” Black and Latino” Roberto Santiago is identified as a Puerto Rican (Latino) with a black skin color. This creates confusion that is foreign to Roberto who, being of Puerto Rican descent rarely considers skin color in his culture. Puerto Ricans are known to have varying skin color ranging from black to white as a result of the mixing of African, Whites and Spaniards. Puerto Ricans, identifying as Hispanic, do not recognize a difference of skin color as dictating race: rather they consider, nationality and culture as predominant. Apparently race different is not instilled in the Puerto Rican (Latino) culture. Hence, in the Puerto Rican community as well as in Puerto Rico they consider culture as dominants. The Predicament is made severe in racially conscious America which imposes a race and class differentiation between whites and blacks. Perhaps, racial difference is exacerbated among black Latinos when enmeshed in the white –dominant racially conscious American society. Whites have a tendency to see skin color and relate that to race. Therefore people with black skin are identified as black Americans. Considering this predicament, what is Roberto’s identity? Roberto was first made aware of his difference of skin when he was six years old. He encountered a white woman at Central Park when he ran
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