American Dream And Discrimination In "Stranger In The Village"

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Some times in communities people are led to believe that their race is more superior than the next. These concepts surround young generation and teach them to be just like the rest of society. Children born with purity and no predetermined hate for others are taught to be cruel to races different from their own. In Paulo Freire’s “The Banking Concept of Education,” he describes a classroom environment that is so similar to our society that it can be used to help explain how children are so easily taught these ways.

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There were some huge advances in technology throughout the century. Technology has changed not only the quality of human’s habitation but also improved transportation. The world is gradually globalizing more and more every day. A huge part of globalization is diversity. After World War II, America, as one of the victorious nations of WWII, became the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the planet. The rate of economic growth was at an exponential rate which eventually led to high employment rate. In 1950s, immigrant rate in America increased rapidly. America was considered to be a 'land of opportunity.' Furthermore, due to the economic growth, 'American Dream' was not just a dream anymore.

However, one of the drawbacks of this globalized society is that people are more exposed in racist harassment. Many African family moved to America and lots of African-American also had “America Dream”. The 1950s was a time in which racism and segregation was a significant issue not only in America. Racism runs in all of our society these days. People’s character is stereotyped by the color of the skin and what they look like rather than who they are. One of the reasons for continued discrimination is that stereotypes and bias have influenced and been passed onto the younger generation. James Baldwin poured out his point of view on how he believed American children should be taught throughout his essays.

James Aurthur Baldwin is an American novelist, and activist who explored issues associated with racism, sexism, and distinction of class in the 1950s. One of his essays, “Stranger in the Village” was published in the 1950s. “Stranger in the Village” is about Baldwin’s personal experience in the small village in Swiss telling how people in the small village treated him. For much of the racism and unfair treatment of black people, Baldwin blames history saying “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them” (148). He emphasizes the concept that has taken place throughout history, our inability to learn from the past and create a new future from it, but instead we hold on to certain ideas and just repeat things that have already happened. He is claiming that racism is not just about skin color but more about social and historical phenomenon.

He goes beyond the meaning of ‘racism’ and explored the root and several aspects of racism. Baldwin agrees that racism is socially constructed. When he arrived in the village, “the children shouted Neger! Neger! as he walks along the streets” (147). Even though the villagers had never seen African-American before, they reacted in a disrespectful way when Baldwin first entered the village. Furthermore, the one who shouted were just kids. From this excerpt we can see how society and history can formed and influenced this racist mindset of children who live in small, virtually unknown village and it demonstrates how society formed ignorant behaviors of children. To further explore the complexities of racism and its societal impact, it is crucial to consider diverse perspectives such as those found in "Black Body" by Teju Cole, which sheds light on the experiences and challenges faced by individuals of African descent in contemporary society.

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