Does the color of your skin describe who you really are? In the poem, "White Lies," Natasha Tretheway describes what it was like to hide one's color just to find acceptance. Trough her character, imagery, and symbolism, Tretheway paints a picture of shame and courage through the eyes of a young African American girl growing up in Mississippi. "White Lies" is a personal poem about Tretheway's childhood. By looking at the author's background, the following is discovered about her character.
In Kate Chopin’s short story “Desiree’s Baby” she attempts to show the racial ideologies that were prevalent in her day. She does this by not only implementing a shocking twist into her story but by using very subtle clues that can be found upon close study. By comparing the circumstances in her character’s lives before and after they become “aware” of their own or other’s racial heritage, Chopin points out that blacks were seen as an unhappy, miserable people and that only among whites can true happiness be found. Chopin creates these differences by using imagery and descriptions to stereotype both the blacks and whites in her story. While examining the circumstances surrounding Desiree’s life after she “becomes” black we can see Chopin’s genius at work.
The Fight for Change Ever since human beings have walked this Earth, they have formulated various standards and stereotypes towards what they believe are truly sublime in human appearance. As for “the others” who are believed to not reach these standards, they suffer from self-degradation and the cruelty of others. In Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye, she tells the story about a young black girl who believes she is ugly and wishes for blue eyes because the community bases their ideals of beauty on whiteness. Throughout her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou gives an account of her journey of becoming a woman and dominating the misfortunes and racist oppressions of her life. Both authors illustrate the idea that because of oppression the victim develops a self-hatred that enforces a desire to change.
This is shown clearly by the opening of the first letter. “You better not never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy.” This is exactly on what the reader would assume an abuser to say and for Walker to say that as the first sentence shocks the reader into thinking if black women were abused by their families and friends. It is also however shown in letter 31 to be false and that not every black woman is abused. Sofia is a perfect example as she is a black woman protecting herself and being women together to not be abused or put down by men.
That's exactly what Madonna attempts to do when she appropriates and commodifies aspects of black culture. Needless to say this kind of fascination is a threat. It endangers. Perhaps that is why so many of the grown black women I spoke with about Madonna had no interest in her as a cultural icon and said things like, "The bitch can't even sing." It was only among young black females that I could find die-hard Madonna fans.
Attempting to Voice the Voiceless: As Depicted in The Laramie Project and The Bluest Eye Throughout Post-Modern literature, a common underlying theme has been giving a voice to the voiceless. The “voiceless” are those individuals whose stories often go untold, therefore their situations, struggles and adversities have no way to be aired in the pubic light. Two works of literature have successfully attempted to shed light on the voiceless in two very different situations: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman. It may strike as odd that a book about the struggles of young, African-American girls in the Southern United States just before the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the ripple-effect of the heinous murder of a homosexual college student in a small Wyoming town would have any relation to one another. And though the struggles and personal backgrounds that define characters are different, the similarities between the two works lie in the oppression and hate that each experiences.
When Morrison imagined her friend with the blue eyes that the latter wished for she was revolted. This memory of the little black girl who wanted blue eyes would stay with Morrison for the rest of her life. In 1965 she started writing the Bluest Eye. It was a peak of the” Black is beautiful” movement. Morrison started to think about why the movement was needed.
Race and Ethic in our Society Gertrude Perkins ENG125: Introduction to Literature Instructor: Paul Wiltz July 2, 2012 Race and Ethics in our Society Racism and Ethics in “Country Lovers” and “What it’s Like to be a Black Girl” both of these reading are told by a young black girl who have struggled with being discriminated against them. Both of these girls deal with discrimination on their lives because they are black. Whereas “Nadine Gordimer” and “Patricia Smith” in “Country Lovers” and “What it’s like to be a Black Girl” reveal the themes of race and ethnicity versus ethics to underscore the meaning of discrimination. Each author also uses themes of gender role and growing up to argue the ideas of a person’s role in to society. Racism is something that people deal with daily.
The beauty standards of white Western culture, the sexual abuse of Pecola by her father, and Pecola’s low economic status have multiplicative effects on Pecola and all aid in her progressive alienation from society as well as her fall towards insanity. Deborah King states that “the experience of black women is assumed to be synonymous with that of either black males or white females” (King 45). It is mistakenly granted that either there is no difference in being black and female than being generically black or generically female. The intensity of the physical and psychological impact of racism is very different from that of sexism. For example, the group experience of slavery and lynching for blacks, and genocide for Native Americans is not comparable to the physical abuse, social discrimination, and cultural denigration suffered by women.
The Struggle for Society’s Acceptance Be careful what you wish for. In the novel The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, a young colored girl named Pecola and her race are rejected by their community based on their physical appearance. The belief of Pecola’s time label black people ugly and different. To be beautiful, it is mandatory that one posses pale skin, yellow hair, and blue eyes. Brainwashed by society’s standards and demeaned by the white race, the black population struggles to fit the stereotypical image of perfection.