Posted on March 20, 2017
All of these stories share a common theme and is fear. The message is very clearly once you begin to read the stories. The jim crow era in the united states was a period in which was filled with hypocrisy. The United States granted African American “freedoms” without actually letting them exercise it. It was a way to show the world that America wasn’t such a cruel place, that they treated all of their citizens as equal. The idea of equal but separate is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Even Though blacks weren’t slaves anymore they were still treated like animals. For example, all the stories that Richard told while he lived in the south where truly amazing. I couldn’t imagine having to live in fear of somebody only because they had a lighter complexion than me. It was really hard for me to process the story where the son and the father dragged a black woman and beat her senseless, and then she was arrested right after. Even thinking about this I just think of where is her justice. However, those other African Americans believe she was lucky because she was still alive. It seems so incredible that at any moment someone like Richard can lose his life simply because a white person felt he was being disrespectful.
The stories from Black men and public Spaces had many similarities to the stories that richard shared. The idea that white America created about African Americans is that they are lazy, criminals, and they are inferior. Even Though the story of these two men are very different they still follow the same stereotypes. Violent is one of the many terms used when referring to black men. The media has always portrayed them as individuals that should be feared. Everyone has has grown up in America is guilty of believing these stereotypes. Even if you do know that not every young black male isn’t a criminal, subconsciously that the first though you have. It’s a discourse created by those in power, to keep the inferior oppressed. It’s a constant mechanism, similar to how African Americans in the Jim Crow era weren’t expected to learn much. The discourses created are ways in which white people can continue to keep their power.
The last story Everyday Use wasn’t as intriguing as the two other stories. The beginning of it wasn’t very appealing. What I understood from it was that the author was trying to show the beauty standards in our society. The idea that someone who is lighter and thinner is a lot more beautiful than someone who is thicker and darker. This standard of beauty like the discourses of black man where solely created to keep the blacks oppressed. It’s a way to make sure that they understand that they are considered the other. Many of these beauty standard are the reason why the black community has so many problems of colorism. The whole idea of light skin vs. darkskin has always been a controversy.