Rapper Tupac Shakur once said “It’s a struggle for every young Black man. You know how it is, only God can judge us. ” Throughout the course of the semester there have been numerous discussions of topics involving the black community in today’s society. Racism towards African-Americans and how they are not treated equally or with respect from society. They are judged just by the way they carry themselves; pants sagging, tank top, and tattoos that are visible are classified as “thug” or “uneducated”.
So I write this book in hopes that others will read and know my understandings of the current events affecting the black community. I have grown and experience throughout the course of time to become more aware, enlightened, and informed. 1 Living Black Near the opening of Between the World and Me, the author lays out the book’s central question, “… how do I live free in this black body? ” The purpose of this essay was to compare or contest what it means to me to live free in my own black body versus the societal reality of living in my black body.
While writing this essay I had to really think about how African-Americans live through today’s society and how it’s different from living in my body. I learned that living in my African-American body I am fortunate. I have not yet experience what other AfricanAmericans experience out in the real world. I would like to thank my parents for raising me away from violence crimes in neighborhoods. Living freely and living with societal reality in my African-American body is differentiated by perception, expectations and instability.
For years, the media has played a huge role for their representations of African Americans on television. There are a lot of negative exposure of killings and robberies but, rarely any positive exposure. African Americans are frequently portrayed with personality characteristics that are stereotypically negative such as stupid, menace, uneducated, and ignorant to society. Social reality expects not all but some African-American to be violent, grow up in struggle, and be single parents. Due to financial instability, some families are not able to send their children to college.
Today racial discrimination has been an issues between all races. Society mostly play the biggest role that contributes to stereotyping and being prejudice towards other races. With the media only portraying negative views on African-Americans, it is not helping the reality of living black. There are more it us then what the media shows, but rarely you’ll see blacks being helpful and giving to their communities by giving back. Due to financial instability, some families are limited to what they can contribute to their families and themselves. 2.
Police Brutality Although before writing this essay I was already fully aware of police brutality towards the African-American community. However this topic did change the way how I look at police officers today. Growing up I was taught that whenever there is an emergency that the police men were the ones who everyone can depend on. They help serve and protect the communities to make them a better place, almost like a super hero. Schools failed to not educate the younger generation on police brutality. Back when I was in high school I’d question what I was taught about police and my safety.
Can I really trust police or not? The purpose for this essay was to choose a feature or theme present in Between the World and Me and write a literary analysis that discusses the text in terms of that feature or major theme and so I decided to choose police brutally. Police brutality among the black community has become a worldwide issue in America. Abusing their rights and authority there have been increasing number of incidents where facts point to obvious brutality and overuse of force against surrendering, subdued, or even innocent black citizens. People often say racial discrimination has to do with police brutality.
This is because we mainly hear about African-Americans being targeted by the police. AfricanAmericans are one of the most suspected, arrested, incarcerated and even murdered demographics in America. Coates states “And you know now, if you did not know before, that police departments of your country have been endowed with the authority to destroy body. It does not matter is the destruction is the result of an unfortunate overreaction”(9). Coates is explaining that no matter the situation, anything that a black person is doing appears to be suspect to an officer.
It does not matter if the situation is misunderstood or you resist an arrest, it can turn the situation for the worse, then police are not accounted for because they are the law. The black community has been dealing with hostile policemen without any protection. Coates mentions many police brutality cases from familiar names we often hear on the news. Michael Brown, an unarmed black young man shot to death by white policeman. Eric Gardner, put into a chokehold and killed by white policeman. Even the people in Ferguson, who’s neighborhoods were filled with racist policeman with no intentions of protection.
Coates states “Prince Jones, murder by the man who should have been his security guards, is always with me, and I knew that soon he would be with you”(90). Here Coates shares how he experience that involves his friend who unfortunate experienced physical abuse by the police and was killed. Explaining police brutality to the younger genration is important because they need to know they need to understand the world they live in and what’s going on in the world no matter how old they are. The experiences, conversations, and images they see can have an effect by making them curious.
As a child it is only natural that curiosity makes them question what’s going on in the world. So they bring those questions and sometimes they are hard for parents to explain. As a parent dealing with those hard questions use to be a lot easier but now things as change between gossip blogs, internet and 24-hour news. It has become impossible to control what their kids see and their natural curiosity. 3. The American Dream The American Dream can be achieve through hard work and determination. I once believe that The American was not in fact to fantasy and it can be achieve by everyone.
The reason I first believed in the dream because I learned through my life that if you want something you have to work for it. It can’t just be given to your without putting any effort into it. Then I learned that The American Dream can’t be attain because of financial problems or any setbacks that one might experience. I learned that everyone has dreams but life sometimes get in the way of achieving it. A person might have started a family and have made sacrifices to give up their dream so that their children can live theirs.
The American Dream is full of promises and aspirations that every American someday shall have opportunities and potential to attain self-actualization. To make this has not been the case owing to the challenges brought about income inequalities and jobless that pose active and reactive forces on men and women of the lower cadre. The American Dream gives men the hope that one day they shall own a decent home, live an ample neighborhood, save income money for golden years and most importantly feel engrossed in the American way of life.
To African-Americans, however, it is a toxic fantasy because of the unequal opportunities created by the American system. 4. The Fantasy Dream The American Dream is not attainable for African-Americans because of racism. African-Americans have been dealing with racial discrimination for years and their fight for equality. “Although there has been an end to slavery and AfricanAmericans have gained the rights obtained by the Declaration of Independence, they are still being denied their natural born rights every day through the use of racism” (Becker).
The American Dream is having equal opportunities to achieve success and today it is still an issue for African-Americans to be employed because of racism associated with many businesses’ and stores. “But do not struggle for the Dreamers. Hope for them. Pray for them, if you are so moved. But do not pin your struggle on their conversion. The Dreamers will have to learn to struggle themselves, to understand that the field for their Dream, the stage where they have painted themselves white, is the deathbed of us all” (Coates 151). The American Dream is not attainable for American-Americans because of financial instability.
Although not all African-Americans face financial instability, however, it has impacted a few select. “The challenge of meeting day-to-day economic environment has caused African-American financial decision makers to make a choice to help them solve immediate problems at the expense of their long-term goals” (Lowrey & Taylor). Some have the struggle of finding a job that can support their family if they do not have a high school diploma. “Their family wealth is typically one-tenth that of whites. They earn considerably less. They are more likely to be unemployed or in poverty and they are less likely to own a home” (Luhby).