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Essay Peer Partner - Gregory Victory ENC 1101 Dr Rene...

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Gregory Victory ENC 1101 Dr. Rene' O'Brien The Big Finish Racism has long been an issue in society, and there has been much done to try to improve race relations. It was not until the 1950’s that things began to improve for the black community. Congress considered segregation as unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court was getting involved (Webb, 11). Before that time, black people were looked upon as the outcast of society, and inferior to whites. The jobs they took, and the way they had to live reflect (ed) this. In Maya Angelou’s “Finishing School”, she reassembles a distant time in her life growing up in the rustic Stamps, Arkansas. It was at a time period when segregation and racism was alive and well. It had only been 100 years since the end of slavery, but in the South, equality and respect for the black society was a slow process. Maya Angelou was born Marguerita Johnson in 1928, and spent much of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, living with her grandmother (Kirszner, Mandell, 101). A white woman from Texas once, in conversation, questioned Maya about her hometown. During the exchange, Maya informed the woman that her grandmother had owned the “only Negro general merchandise store since the turn of the century” (Kirszner, Mandell, 101). The woman made the comment that Maya was a debutante. This made no sense to Maya, since she knew what having little money, and growing up in a small southern town was like for a young black girl.
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According to the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture , debutante (from the French débuter, to begin) is a young woman, usually of age 17 or 18, who is formally introduced to affluent society at a ball or “coming out” party. The original purpose of the "debut" was to announce that young women of prominent social standing were available for courtship by eligible young men. This social ritual was necessitated by the traditional upper-class practice of sending girls away to boarding school where they were virtually hidden from view—prohibited from dating, attending parties of mixed company, or socializing with adults. A formal announcement thus introduced the debutante to her social peers and potential suitors (Shauf, 680,681).
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course ENC 101 taught by Professor Thornton during the Fall '08 term at Daytona State College.

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Essay Peer Partner - Gregory Victory ENC 1101 Dr Rene...

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