As part of going through the main discussion, my own personal development in comparison to the previous generations will be tackled in details. Eventually, ways on how environmental factors combined with my family background has influenced me as a person today will be explored accordingly.
To learn more about my family background, I opened up some personal questions while having dinner with my parents. When I asked them how we came to settle in Oklahoma, my mother explained that our family first came in through PA before settling in Oklahoma. All these happened during the slave days. Our family name started as Sheank which was eventually changed to Shank upon our arrival to the United States. After the slave days, our family name was changed to Shankle because the slaves kept the Shank. Since our family wanted to be differentiated from other group of people, they decided to finally change our family name to Shankles.
My family background and environmental factors had taught me the importance of diversity. As a person, I was born and raised in North East Texas during the 60s and 70s. Back then, we used to live in a lower class neighborhood. Because of financial reasons, I live most of my life in a community that is dominated by the African Americans. Therefore, during my school-age days, I remember myself being one of the few white students who went to the black schools.
Race is defined as “a human population that is believed to be distinct in some way from other humans based on real or imagined physical differences” (Cragun, Cragun et al., 2003, p. 133). Based on biological classification, people are often categorized depending on their facial features or skin color and that the skin color of each individual is highly dependent not only on individual and collective ideas but also on larger social forces. Specifically the differences of each individual’s facial features and skin color