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Reading reaction paper - Essay Example

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In order to show the injustices which history relates to the modern people, Navita Cummings James tells about the true stories passed on to her by her family, accounts that shaped her perceptions about race, gender, racism and prejudice. Such stories are reflective of the many other experiences of Black Americans in the hands of Whites especially during the times of slavery. James talks in her article about how the stories in her family have shaped and molded her thoughts about the White people. She gives a little background of her family and education then proceeds to narrate some anecdotes that happened in her own family. She says she uses this technique because she believes that personal stories are not only unique but they are also irrefutable. As a young girl who was told about a young Black girl killed by a drunken White man, she was horrified to know that justice was not served. Simultaneously, she started to view White men as violent. Another story that she shares is about her grandfather who was able to liberate himself at the age of 16 and who eventually had his own lands. Being a Black man who became successful, even having his own car in a world where he is endangered due to his White neighbors’ envy because of his possessions, he had to carry a rifle to protect himself. Just like the author’s grandfather and many other Blacks, he became a slave because his parents were slaves. Such bad experiences have become challenges to the Blacks but for James, her family’s stories became definitions of the people around her. She came to regard her own race as equals of or even better than White Americans because as her narration reveals, she viewed White men as rapists based from the stories she heard. In addition, she also narrates about how Black females have been encouraged to study well in order to escape slavery. As the writer has shown, her family on both her father and mother’s side instilled among the children the importance of education. Obviously such efforts paid off and the writer learned to share her stories to her children as well. Nevertheless, in the midst of such racial views being instilled in the young mind of the author, she also mentions that her family’s good deeds have been nailed in her head. She was taught about values such as hard work and perseverance as well as self-preservation—something that has been emphasized to young Black women especially when they deal with White men. White men have been described as interested in nothing concerning a Black woman except sex and therefore, young women have been warned to be vigilant. History proves that Blacks often served their fair-skinned counterparts who in turn abused them not only physically but verbally, emotionally and psychologically as well. Black slavery can be traced back to ancient history wherein they have been sold as slaves, considered as their master’s owners rather than as individuals who also get hungry and tired. True enough, as the author claims stories have unique effects on audiences. As a reader, I personally am affected by the stories of Blacks being raped by White men if only to satisfy their lusts. Bastards sired by White men can be sold or given away anytime the White wives desire to. They are treated like animals and not as human beings. Black girls can be shot in broad daylight in the sight of many people but there will be no justice or even a bit of sympathy for the victim. Nevertheless, the Whites would rather pity the White man ...Show more
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Full name Professor Subject Date Stories to Change the World Racism has long been a social issue and therefore became one of the most discussed matters through many generations. For the Whites, racism is experienced much differently than they are encountered by the Blacks…
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