English 4W (11)
13 December 2007
The Modern Dutchman
He’s called an African-American.
That is, unless he doesn’t want to be called an
African-American, in which case, he’s called Black.
Unless of course he doesn’t want to be
called Black, in which case he’s called whatever he wants to be called.
After over two years at
UCLA, which my parents disdainfully call a
, I’ve finally learned the golden
rule of political correctness: one is labeled with the label with which one labels himself (or
herself, should she choose to label herself with that label).
After over two years living, working,
and learning on a tremendously diverse campus, I like to think that I’ve shed my prejudices of
racism, sexism, heterosexism, hair-ism, and any other –ism you can come up with.
would I ever be concerned with a character like Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) or his play
After all, the play has traditionally been viewed through the lens of race relations
and on the assumption that White and Black are in opposition, and I’m past that; I understand the
humanity of people; I’m modern.
However, as is the case with most enduring works of art,
acts on more than one level.
Many works of art created around the turn of the 20
century and in the following years are intensely interested in the notion of “the primitive.”
, which was written in 1964, questions this glorified picture of “the primitive” by
illuminating the violent aspect of the primitive that is conveniently overlooked by these turn-of-
Around the turn of the 20
century and in the years that followed, a great deal of art
For the purposes of this paper, we will discuss mainly literary arts