The struggles that populations of diverse populations face in the course of their development are essential to discuss in current research. The topic of race is especially relevant due to the long and dark history of oppression, abuse, and segregation of certain groups. Race denotes a group of humans that share the physical and social qualities that distinguish them from other members of society. Perceptions and social conceptions of race have shifted over time as the concept was used not only for the purpose of separation but also for elevating the role of some groups and diminishing others. In some ways, the concept of race has become a misnomer due to its socially constructed nature and the predominantly Eurocentric logic that dichotomized knowledge about it into separate categories (Rasayon 14). While initially created to denote the differences in the essential characteristics and perceived traits of some groups, subsequent research led to the conceptualization of race in widely different ways, many of which became problematic. Thus, context matters when using the concept of race, which is why it has become a misnomer over time.
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The portrayal of African American men in the past and the present has always been centered around the challenges they have to overcome to survive and become relevant. Criminalization has played an essential role in their portrayal, as the mistaken identification of African American men as potentially violent or dangerous has been perpetuated in society for decades. In order to overcome this stereotype, such men had to show that they could become valuable members of society as the misconceptions affected not only interactions with other people but also professional life and livelihood. The history of slavery that affected the ancestors of modern African Americans has made them more susceptible to social victimization and misrepresentation, which is why they had to work harder in order to withstand the oppression. Studying the misrepresentation of African American men in media, primarily as related to the recent events associated with police shootings of Black men.
In the current political setting, the issue of race is high on the agenda, and there have been debates regarding the attitudes of the current US President regarding racial bias. To stand against the prejudice and ensure that attention is given to the issues of diverse populations, the philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr. is still relevant today. Those are forming the pro-African-American narrative stand for egalitarianism and social justice that were taught by Luther King. Within this narrative, the role of women is also essential to discuss as their rights have been undermined and diminished, to the extent that is similar to the challenges faced by African Americans. The egalitarian rights of women are detrimental to the discussion of social justice and civil rights because their contributions to society are as important as those of men. The discussion of women’s egalitarian rights can benefit the essay on the issue of race and justice. As proposed by Rasayon, everyone is a human (hue-man), and one’s gender identity should not dictate whether rights should be granted to some and not others (9).
In the explorations of social justice, racial bias, and egalitarianism, the concept of African Legacy can play an important role. The concept is used for denoting a cultural foundation for African Americans and offers a means of coming with the history of slavery and varied forms of racism that have existed over time. African Legacy is necessary for self-protecting and self-enhancing motivations that the members of the given population have in terms of their relevance, sustainability, growth, and development. For African Americans, it is imperative to adhere to the ideology of legacy in order to understand how they can use their heritage and lessons from history to become better as a group. The concept of Legacy, as mentioned by Rasayon, can also be used to denote the “temple or the attributes of such a unique ‘conduit’ we fondly reference as our person” (17). One’s entity is manifested through one’s ID, and both cultural or physical attributes ascribed to a specific group can help with establishing a sense of legacy and the understanding of mutual goals.
Finally, the idea of Americanism is essential to the current discussion as it represents the foundation for the development of other ideologies and perceptions of society. Americanism may be representative of the US men and women’s ideas, policies, programs, and various purposes that bother them the most. However, there is no consensus regarding the definition of the term because society has developed over the years and has been changing with the emergence of new trends in politics, economics, and social environments. Studying the concept further is expected to shed light on how Americanism has evolved and which specific events have shaped its meaning and perception by society. The American identity is a complex phenomenon, especially within the discussion of manhood and attributes of the concept, which is why it is vital to apply it in the current exploration.
Rasayon, Niyana. Reality Check: A Manual for the Hue-man Octahedron & The Mystery of Melanin. Eyes of Ma’at Press, 2008.