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    Amy Tan’s “Fish Cheeks” gave her readers a very “close to home” hitting tale of her battle with self-acceptance and her overall struggle of “fitting it” to the social norms of society. Tan, an Asian- America […]

    • Yes, Tan did eventually learn to embrace her culture and recognized the significance of the dishes that her mother prepared for her. Being a teenager is hard. Being a teenager when you don’t fit into the hegemonic culture is even harder. Tan, I think, just needed to do a little growing up before she could fully embrace her culture and her identity without worrying what those things looked like through the white American perspective.

  • In the story of “Indian Education” by Sherman Alexie, Alexie tells his personal experiences of being a Native American through a character named Junior Polatkin. The writing style of the story is set up by exp […]

    • You do a nice job of summarizing these stories and explaining your interpretation of their message. You also do a nice job of linking them together and demonstrating the connections between them. You observations about the role that traditions play in the stories is very insightful. Nice work!

  • Fish Cheeks is a short story written by Amy Tan, it illustrates the life of Amy Tan as a young Chinese girl growing up in the American society. We see her having a crush on Robert which inhibits her from accepting […]

    • Great observations about this short story. You do a great job of explaining how Tan’s desire to assimilate distances herself from her culture and her family. Your observations about perspective are also interesting. Tan doesn’t see her family or their food as Other until she considers them from Robert’s perspective.

  • Hey guys, my name is Kevin Nguyen and I’m a freshman bio major on the pre-dental track. I love baseball, fishing, and bowling. My favorite pastime at home is online video gaming. (Rocket League, L4D2, and CS:GO)

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  • Hi My name is Melissa! I’m a freshman and I’m undeclared.

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  • “Indian Education” by Sherman Alexie was something so interesting to read. I like how the story is just bits of Victor’s life of every year in school starting in first grade. What I thought was really inter […]

    • Good observation of the “education” that Victor receives in Alexie’s story. Nice point about children learning to be hateful from their parents. Unfortunately, this continues to be true, and we have recently seen a spike in this kind of behavior in schools. Alexie’s teachers are just the worst, aren’t they. They certainly taught him something, but it wasn’t in the textbooks, it was how vile people can be.

  • Hi all, welcome to another edition of my Blog!

    I would like to start off by stating that I completely empathize and feel particularly passionate with Amy Tan’s piece “Fish Cheeks”. Being raised very culturally, […]

    • Thanks for sharing your story and the ways in which is connects to Tan’s. It can be incredibly difficult to be seen as different from your peers (especially when you are a teenager and everything is difficult). It definitely took a little more maturity on her part before she finally recognized the significance of the dishes her mother had prepared. It seems like you have already come to that place. Thanks again for sharing.

  • The idea of maintaining an ePortfolio was seemingly daunting during my freshman writing course. I had no experience in working with editing webpages, updating content, nor thinking about what to write for others […]

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    Although I am, by upbringing, a city kid I come from an ancestry of rustic villagers. I was born in Odessa, Ukraine to a couple of city dwellers like myself, but for the first few years of my life I was […]

  • My interest in tending to the needs of other people started in my adolescence. My parents made me involved in community food drives with my church. Through subsequent community projects with the church, I decided […]

  • Everyone has their own stories and accomplishments that represent who they are, but for me I feel like my struggles represent me instead of my accomplishments. At an early age, I knew what the meaning of […]

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  • Hello,

    My name is Stephen Turnbull and i’m a student athlete at Stony Brook University. My main hobbies at school include school work, and playing soccer. I am new to WOLFIE, but I look forward to learning more […]

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  • Isaiah Mann wrote a new post, #whytho 1 week ago

    I am reminded every day that history does not repeat itself; humans repeat history. As if the world we live in does not know this already, we still bomb each other. We still steal from each other. We still ignore […]

    • I love the opening line of this post. Very insightful; and I think that it is important that we not minimize our agency as people. It is unfortunate that humans seem to repeatedly mischaracterize and demonize those who are different. Your discussion of assimilation in your final paragraph is also very insightful. It is difficult to read what these men of color have to do to appease white, hegemonic society.

  • Eileen Castillo wrote a new post, Blog 7 1 week ago

    Prejudice is something that follows each one of us. Race, though socially constructed, is one of the main factors used to judge a person. The color of one’s skin determines the qualities and abilities of a p […]

    • I love the connection that you make to “Get Out” (I was hoping someone would!). I haven’t seen it yet (I’m kind of a chicken, so I don’t generally do horror, but I think I might need to make an exception).

      You do a great job of explaining Staples’s essay. It’s short but compact; and there is a lot to talk about. I like your observations about the ways in which the white women’s behavior is normalized.

  • In the autobiography “Ethics of living Jim Crow “by Richard Wright, he describes his experience living in a racist society and the ways in which he resisted racial opression. The readers were able to see him gro […]

    • Very nice discussion of Wright’s piece. It can be hard to read because of what Wright has to do to survive. It is hard to read about him learning the “proper” (never have air quotes been more appropriate) way to behave in his society. The fact that he was forced into submission under threat of death. His story provides a lot of evidence about the injustice of the Jim Crow South.

  • 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 […]

    • The images that you use in this blog work really well. I also like the connections that you make between Wright and Staples using the theme of fear. Your discussion of implicit bias is also really interesting. It is true that most of the time, our reactions are unconscious, which doesn’t make them any better. If anything, it makes it worse, because that are harder to acknowledge and overcome.

  • These three short reading all relate back to self-identity and struggles of African Americans. In both Richard Wright’s “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow” and Brent Staples’ “Black Men in Public Space” th […]

    • You make some really interesting connections between these pieces, especially regarding the themes of self-identity and education. While Wright and Staples attempt to negotiate white society and how to function within it without being harmed, Dee’s education leads her to, ostensibly, reject that society, and as you note, go back to her African roots, although the story seems a bit ambivalent about that movement.

  • Oppression, a very troubling topic in the United States as it’s tremors can be still felt to this very day to some magnitude. The very things that bends the fabric of society and shackles the voices of m […]

    • Good attention to the use of language in Wright’s piece–I think that it is really interesting the contrast between his narration and the dialogue of the white characters. I wonder if that depiction might be a form of resistance against the stereotypes perpetuated by white society?

  • The three short stories I’ve read were “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow: An Autobiographical Sketch” by Richard Wright, “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples, and “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. They all […]

    • Good connections between the stories. What do you think is the significance of the cinders when juxtaposed with the white people’s lawns and trees? Yes, Walker’s story speaks to the complexity of heritage within the black community, and seems somewhat ambivalent about it. What do you make of the fact that Dee/Wangero seems to be an object of ridicule in the story?



    After a few weeks off I am finally back to express my thoughts, this time, on racial oppression and what seems to me to be conformity. This week’s readings managed to bring different reactions out […]

    • I love the title of this piece and the visuals you include. We should be better than that (and to some extent we have improved, but we are still a long way from where we should be as a country, and sometimes it does not feel like we are moving in the right direction). Your observations about the internalized racism in Wright’s story are really interesting. There seems to be a connection made between both his and Staples’s sense of double consciousness.

  • alaguo wrote a new post, Blog#6 1 week, 1 day ago

    This week’s stories, “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow”, “Black Men and Public Space”, and “Everyday Use”, all revolve around the theme of oppression. In “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow”, we are introduced to a b […]

    • Good observations about Wright’s story and the ways in which he was forced to conform to societal expectations (although there are a few small moments of defiance). What do you make of the burden of not being lynched being placed on him and not the white people in the society (a theme that is continued in Staples’ piece)?

  • Racial oppression has been a very controversial topic during the late 1800s to the mdi 1900s. During the time of the Jim Crow Laws, colored people were oppressed and tortured. After reading the article by Richard […]

    • I’m not sure that I would characterize Wright’s decisions to submit to oppression (as suggested by his mother and community) as “right,” but it is certainly the safer choice for him. As a man of color, not submitting could be life threatening, which is why he had to learn to, at least, perform submission. Not doing so could result in lynching.

  • The readings that had to due, all linked in many different of ways. From “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow” to “Everyday Use,” they all talk about different ways people of minorities are oppressed by others. The thi […]

    • I really like your analysis of the term “broken English.” The term suggests that there is something inherently wrong about that form of communication and that it needs to be fixed. Next week we will read about a number of other groups that have been oppressed.

      PS. The story you are describing her is not “Everyday Use,” which by Alice Walker, but “Mother Tongue.” Not quite sure the source of the confusion.

  • In the short written by Richard wright “The Ethics Of Living Jim Crow:”This short essay gives a list of lessons that a Negro living in the south around that time needed to know. When reading these survival rul […]

    • Good analysis of the story. You do a very nice job of making connections between the events and themes of the story and what we can observe in modern America. I agree that there continue to be “rules” that people of color have to follow in order to avoid oppression, and you example of your interactions with the police do a good job of demonstrating that. Things have gotten better, but are still far from perfect.

  • My god, forgive me for last minute blog post and crappy grammar. I am typing this on my ipad with my keyboard drain dry. I am struggling to type all of this but I will try my very best to analyze these stories to […]

    • I like that you point to the oppression in these stories as systematic and institution, not an individual experience. Good discussion of “Everyday Use”; Walker is exploring the complexity of African American heritage.

      And just to let you know, Wright is not a slave. But he is living in the Jim Crow South and under the laws and conventions that perpetuated oppression after slavery had been abolished.

  • This week’s reading is a combination of three great stories. There is “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow” by Richard Wright, “Black Men in Public Space” by Brent Staples, and “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. The […]

    • Great observations in this blog post. I really love your analysis of the power of learning. Pease and Morrie prevented Wright from learning as a form of social control and oppression. It is because they feel threatened by what he is capable.

      I also agree with your ending comments. Our country has come a long way, but we still have further to go (and sometimes it does not always feel like we are moving in the right direction.