The article “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” by Zora Neale Hurston vividly portrays the personal experience of the author and her attitude towards racism and ethical differences. The article which helps to explain the main issues in Hurston’s work is “Poverty and Racism in America” by Kevin Agnese. The article discusses the problem that most Americans can trace their ancestry back to some country across the oceans or the Mexican-American or Canadian-American borders.
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Each nationality is included in American culture with its own particular types of traditions, food, customs, and family relations. It usually takes three or more generations for the members of a new ethical group to adapt to the life of a new community and culture that they lose their unique identity. Some racial groups–mainly African-Americans–never achieve total assimilation. These groups often face racism and oppression as the main forms of superior behavior caused by their race and racial differences. Racism is but one form of a larger and more inclusive pattern of dissemination that may be based on any number of factors, many of which are nonracial in character.
The author underlines that the notion of racism is closely related to poverty and low income caused by a lack of education and professional opportunities for colored people. “There’s a reason for that: racism is still very evident in our society, and it contributes to poverty” (Agnese). In this frame, every citizen is subject to racism and racial oppression, but it may vary from individual to individual. The article vividly portrays that racism is a part of the larger problem of ethnic identification, of authority and helplessness, and of the exploitation of the weak by the strong (Agnese).
This article helps to explain problems and grievances faced by Hurston and her personal feelings. Thus cultural diversity is seen in the living colors of the individuals and heard in their speech. For the first time, the United States will reflect the diversity commonplace throughout most of the other nations of the world. Even so, our school curriculums and businesses will probably remain primarily Eurocentric. Using the article by Agnese, it is possible to say that the black family exists on a low family income that is half the white family income level. Income and racial differences prevent many black children to obtain a good education.
When the black child goes to school, he usually finds no ways to adequate living and adapts to new conditions. “A white person is set down in our midst, but the contrast is just as sharp for me. For instance, when I sit in the drafty basement that is The New World Cabaret with a white person, my color comes” (Hurston). The racial difference between black and white children of the same age often approaches two to three years. Children experience the problem of race and oppression from early years living in communities heavily populated by black Americans, low-income and middle-income groups. The article selected for analysis helps to analyze the family problems faced by Hurston.
Cross-cultural differences and multicultural conflicts are convoluted because of the multiple identities found within cultures. Also, cross-cultural differences due to the geographic location may have little to do with race. For example, inner-city poverty-stricken people suffer from low income more so than racial discrimination.
Agnese, K. Poverty and Racism in America. 2005. Web.
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Hurston, Z. How It Feels to Be Colored Me. 1928. Web.