Woman referred to as rogers who was hit with a policy

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woman, referred to as Rogers, who was hit with a policy at her workplace that affected her racially. “This job fell under a grooming policy that prevented employees from wearing an all-braided hairstyle” (Yoshino 309). African women, like Rogers, are often seen wearing braids in order to tame their hair. This policy applied to Rogers directly although it was targeted towards “individuals of all races and sexes” (Yoshino 309 ). Her request to wear her hair in a braid was deemed unacceptable when an all- braided hairstyle was seen on “a white actress in the film ‘10’” (Yoshino 309). Both of the stories Yoshino discusses show an inevitable result. They depict that the African American ethnicity cannot be covered, no matter how “white” one tries to act or how much of themselves they change. Contrastingly, Smith shares stories that target being biracial and being stuck between which race to lean towards. Smith herself is of both African and White decent. She shares her struggles of being caught in between the two races and having to choose which race she would carry herself to be. Smith states “I genuinely thought this was the voice of the lettered people, and if I don’t have the voice of the lettered people I 2
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would never truly be lettered”, lettered being educated and the lettered voice being “white” (247). She believed that if she didn’t talk as though she was white, she would not be considered an educated individual. Along with sharing her struggle, she shares a more comforting story of former president Barack Obama. She refers to his story as “infinitely more hopeful” because Obama has the right talking tactics to refer to each racial group. He can relate to a “young Jewish male, black old lady from the South Side, white woman from Kansas, Kenyan elders, white Harvard nerds, black Columbian nerds, activist women, churchmen, security guards, bank tellers, and even a British man” (Smith 250). His ability to relate to every group gives an example of how obtaining many voices brings people together, dissing the need to assimilate with “white” societal expectations. Sharing these struggles in hopes of being able to portray a multi-vocal ability, she inevitably states “there exists no contradiction and no equivocation but rather a proper and decent human harmony” (Smith 260). She believes that the voices of biracial, and other different races, can come together to one understanding, avoiding Yoshino’s tactic of covering one identity.
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  • Fall '09
  • CROSSEN
  • Kenji Yoshino

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