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Problem of Racial Discrimination


Based on the three readings, it is evident that the central topic of discussion revolves around racial discrimination, which portrays African Americans or people of color as lesser beings than their counterparts. While racial discrimination in the United States is not a thing of the past, the readings clearly describe the hardships and struggle African Americans underwent in the past decades. In the readings, the authors demonstrate that white people were more privileged than their black counterparts, and blacks were meant to struggle to achieve everything they desired, whereas whites could easily access similar things. Therefore, this article will discuss how the three readings provided demonstrate racial discrimination and the struggles of African Americans.

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Racism Themes

Firstly, in the poem Yet Do I Marvel, the author primarily focuses on the challenges of being a poet from African American background. In the poem, the writer demonstrates that blacks were not expected to be poets, and he finds it curious that God made him a black poet when black people encountered massive hardships and prejudice. Based on this poem, the writer lived in a racist society where black people would find it difficult to prosper. While the writer acknowledges his calling, he equally recognizes the painful truth that prejudice and injustice will make it impossible for a black poet to prosper in a racist society. Similarly, in another poem called Incident, the author highlights an incidence of racism. In this particular poem, the writer recalls a scenario whereby he happily smiled at a white child who responded by calling him Nigger. Though the speaker claims encountered several other events in Baltimore, he recalls one particular incident of racism when the child had to call him Nigger. The incident in the poem demonstrates how racism is a major issue of concern as it came from a child whom everyone would expect to be friendly and welcoming. However, it turns out that racial discrimination toward blacks is a thing of the past and was instilled even in young children.

Secondly, racial discrimination is also the primary focus of the second reading on “How It Feels to be Colored Me.” In contrast, the author demonstrates that she viewed whites and blacks as equal human beings, except that whites rode on horses and never lived in the same town as blacks. The author’s view of whites as equal humans changed at the age of thirteen which is when it occurred to her, that she was a person of color. The author highlights that whites often reminded her that she was a granddaughter of slaves and was never a co-equal. While the author admits she was never disturbed by the labels portraying her as black and different from the rest, these accounts demonstrate racial discrimination existed in the past and still happens in contemporary America. Furthermore, the authors acknowledge that sometimes she got racially discriminated against, but it is beyond her control, and all she had was to accept. Therefore, based on this particular reading, it is essential to understand that people have no control over what others think of them, but prosperity is anchored on accepting whom they are while neglecting the racial labels.

Finally, in the reading The Man Who Was Almost a Man, the theme of racial discrimination is set at the beginning, where Dave is racially undermined and resorts to acquiring a gun to restore power. From the article, it is evident that those that work on the farm as laborers are blacks, and as the author states, Dave, a 17-year-old black, works tirelessly for considerably little pay. In another incident, the author shows how the farm owner exploits Dave when he shoots and kills the mule, ordering Dave to pay a total of $50 for the mule. Therefore, based on these incidents surrounding the main character, it is evident that blacks are racially discriminated against about an unfortunate event that makes them want to revolt and seek revenge. It is seen with Dave when he wishes he had more bullets to fire at the farm owner’s house.


In conclusion, the racial discrimination theme is the central idea discussed in the readings provided. In the two poems by Cullen, racism is demonstrated as a major concern whereby black people struggle to acquire their status in a society where they encounter prejudice and injustice. On the other hand, Hurston, in the article How It Feels to be Colored Me, equally demonstrates incidents of racial discrimination, making it the main theme of the paper. Hurston acknowledges discrimination against the black people and highlights her own experiences among the whites whereby her color became a concern whenever she was with the whites. Finally, in the article The Man Who Was Almost a Man, Wright shows how blacks were mishandled and used as laborers on the farm while being economically oppressed. Therefore, the readings set racism against blacks in the United States as the central focus, portraying incidents where blacks encountered injustice and prejudice as a way to hinder their progress.

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