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black image and identity

black image and identity - also been a division amongst...

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Joseph Angel-Field 11/28/06 B/ST 155 Talking about the Black American image and identity is a complex topic. The Black persons who live in the United States of America do not have a singular voice or identity. Black persons were seriously infringed upon as they were stolen from Western Africa, and sold into slavery, and lost their identities. They were separated from their families and villages, and they were not allowed to carry on most of their traditions. This is the reason why an African identity for Black-Americans is so difficult to find. There is much reluctance amongst the Black community to assimilate with White America further then they already have been forced to. The solution would seem to be to find a midpoint, an African-American culture. This is not as easy as it sounds. Black Americans have many hurdles to finding unity. Economic stratification goes back to the time just following the abolishment of slavery, when very few blacks found success, but most were forced into the vicious cycle of poverty in sharecropping. Racial differences have
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Unformatted text preview: also been a division amongst blacks, some who aspire to lighter skin, and some who look for darker skin. One of the biggest hurdles the Black image has faced was minstrelsy. Now seen as a horrific period of inhumane entertainment, at the time it was the only way for a Black person to be on stage. Now Blacks cannot agree on how they want to be seen in the entertainment industry. Some Blacks are willing to make fun of themselves, and others insist on being seen in a more positive light. In our class I have heard Black students laugh at eating chicken and watermelon, and in the same class talk about the negative stereotypes that minstrelsy instilled. What the black people really need is a common mentality, and the only way they have ever found that is rallying behind vocal leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., James Brown, and Bob Marley. One day may the Black people stop making themselves victims, and start seeing themselves as the beautiful and vibrant culture they are....
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