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Black people’s plight

Human beings are born with the innate desire to fit in and belong in a functioning community. The communities that people live in greatly affect their beliefs, perceptions, and attitude towards life and each other. Although people also try to build their identities, the community has a major impact on the decisions that people make and how they interact with one another. Although most people try to lead ethical lives and observe good morals, some vices exist in society and negatively affect how people interact with one another. Issues such as racism, gender discrimination, and political bias for example have caused major problems in society. The issue of racism for example has greatly disadvantaged African Americans and is a major contributor to the infringement of black people’s rights and freedoms.

           The challenges that African Americans face can be traced back to years when slavery was legal and whites regarded themselves superior to people of color. During this time, black people were denied most of their rights and freedoms by whites and were forced to work in unsafe conditions without any payment (Mayberry, 2008). Although slavery was abolished, the perceptions that people had of black people did not change and this brought rise to issues like racism. This is especially because dominant races like whites still consider themselves superior and use their influence to oppress and discriminate against people of color.

Various developments have been made in an attempt to promote equality and prevent the rights and freedoms of black people from being infringed. A good example is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which sought to promote equality by recognizing and protecting the rights and freedoms of all human beings (Mayberry, 2008). The declaration tried to present African Americans and other indigenous people as equals to whites and in so doing promote justice and equality. Since the whites infringe on black people’s rights because they consider themselves superior, promoting equality is likely to discourage racism as it would help to eliminate any feelings of being superior.

           Despite the existence of policies and laws that seek to end racism and discrimination against black people, cases of African Americans being oppressed are common in society. There exist different stereotypes in society that contribute to the unfair treatment that black people are subjected to (Jackson & King, 2007). An example is the misconceived idea that African Americans are susceptible to crime and not as hard-working as whites. The stereotype is greatly responsible for the various cases of police harassment, especially when apprehending black suspects. The infringement of black people’s rights and freedoms is further extended to the courtroom where African Americans receive longer sentences for petty crimes compared to whites. The negative stereotypes present a negative image of black people and it raises the likelihood that black people will be harassed or oppressed.

           Different organizations and individuals have made attempts to try and end vices such as racism in society. A good example is the Black Lives Matter Movement that seeks to protect the rights and freedoms of African Americans, create awareness of the plight they face, and also seek justice for those whose rights are violated (Ojo, 2020). The activities they engage in helping to break down stereotypes that contribute to the challenges that black people face and also garner support for policies that are designed to help promote equality and protect the rights and freedoms of African Americans. Although there is still a need for more work, the milestones reached have helped to ease racial discrimination in society and this has greatly benefited black people and other indigenous groups.



Jackson, T. F., & King, M. L. (2007). From civil rights to human rights: Martin Luther King, Jr.,            and the struggle for economic justice. Philadelphia, Pa: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Mayberry, D. (2008). Black deaths in police custody and human rights: The failure of the             Stephen Lawrence inquiry. London: Hansib.

Ojo E, (2020) “Why #BlackLivesMatter is about the right to life” retrieved from,   


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Response on How to Raise a Black Son in America


Growing up in America is not an easy thing, especially for the blacks. This is because being a black kid exposes one to many limitations and restrictions in life. Smith clarifies that there are various activities done by the white kids but not at all eligible for the blacks. He is pinched so much on the aspect of shared humanity and wonders whether the Americans understand its meaning as they prevent others from achieving it. So, in America, being born here, a black kid needs to follow strict guidelines from the parents and, by all means, avoid doing what their white friends do; otherwise, they will be killed. This provides the aspect of race-based on color, which results in discrimination.

In the video authored by Clint Smith, some prospects stand out clearly. First, we need to appreciate that he is a black child born and raised in America and has experienced it all about being a black boy in America. In his message, he presents racism based on color, where being black is an automatic assurance that life in America cannot just be normal; instead, you need to get cautious from childhood. More so, being black is a limitation that demands keenness while addressing issues; even when playing, parents send a warning to Smith that he should avoid all the things that are done by the white kids (Smith, 2015). Basically, the aspect of humanity when addressing the people of color is not present in the United States. Blacks can never be left to be; over the recent days, many issues of concern are reported on unarmed blacks who succumb to death at the hands of police and vigilante. Smith says it all that being black an additional piece of advice to stay away from the whites, if only they needed to stay alive.

Additionally, smith highlight how an ideal black family addresses issues. A child born from a black family is entitled to follow the same rules that the parents followed. Belonging to these families calls for additional caution; as a child, he was not entitled to play games that were played by the whites; his father warns him that "Son, I'm sorry, but you can't act the same as your white friends (Smith, 2015).” Similarly, being a black kid in America today, the same system applies; one thing that the American students do might appear wrong when done by the blacks. Over the recent years, the issue of police brutality involving blacks is so high, and almost every black in America exists with fear. Our parents, therefore, stay cautious, warning us to avoid areas that might cause suspicion like partying, almost every day emphasizing the importance of staying alive.


Born in America and black in color is a challenge that starts right from childhood. The idea of racism is evident within the text on color, limiting the blacks from doing things that the white kids can do without restriction. Moreover, black parents can tell it all that bringing up a black child is not easy; one needs to keep track of the kid and offer adequate guidelines to protect their life. Smith clearly highlights the idea of shared humanity that proves to me although America is a super country, they do not understand the meaning of humanity as they prevent the whites from being human; this is something I had not discovered earlier. This work has been so helpful in picturing the relationship between family and society in terms of challenges, such as racial discrimination.



Smith, C. (2015). How to raise a black son in America. TED Talk. Video Link:







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Evolution of the American Dream

The American dream is an ideal that sought to offer equal opportunities to all Americans as well as safeguarding their rights and freedoms. When it was first introduced, it served as a national ethos for the country’s ideals such as democracy, equality and liberty. It further encouraged citizens to work hard and practice equality as fulfillment of the American dream would create various opportunities that would allow people to prosper and enjoy a great deal of success with little challenges. Over the years however, the American dream has evolved to accommodate changes in society as well as aspects that were not considered when the American dream was introduced.

In the early stages of introduction, the American dream sought to protect he rights and freedoms of all American citizens and create equal opportunities to enable growth and development for individuals and the community. Most of the policies enacted focused on Americans as a collective and the differences that people share were overlooked in an attempt to promote equality (Schiller 1). Although the main goal was to create equal opportunities for all citizens, the existence of vices such as racial bias and gender inequality created an environment where some individuals or groups benefited more than others. In order to maintain the ideals of the American dream, the focus shifted from American citizens in general and focused on specific areas such as racism and gender equality.

Although the American dream still seeks to promote equality and protect people’s rights and freedoms, it has evolved to accommodate the needs of specific groups and organizations.  Fulfillment of the American dream has evolved to include protection of rights for specific individuals such as African Americans and other minorities (Caldwell 13). Social media influencers use platforms such as instagram and twitter to advocate for equality and protection of minorities as a way to enhance the ideals of the American dream. Rather than advocating for freedom and opportunities, the American dream has evolved to include the right to free movement, freedom from discrimination and oppression on the basis of race and gender among other provisions.

The American dream further evolved to rectify areas that were overlooked when the original ideals for the dream were introduced. Fulfillment of the American dream required people to work hard as this would guarantee success especially because, according to the dream, there were little barriers curtailing their progress (Omara, 2008). Issues such racial and gender discrimination became barriers that made it difficult for women and minorities to achieve the American dream. Movements such as the black lives matter have come up to try and advocate for equal rights and freedoms. The American dream therefore evolved to include protection of women’s rights, equal opportunities in the workplace, protection from harassment by police officers and unequal distribution of resources to mention a few.

The American dream is no longer a general ideal where people exist in a society that offers equal opportunities and promises success for all who work hard with little challenges. The American dream has become a constantly changing ideal where the dream is fulfilled through different approaches such as offering equal opportunities to women and minorities, creating diverse communities and other tangible factors that will help make America better for all citizens in future. Today’s American dream is more inclusive than the general idea of the dream as it recognizes the various challenges that hinder success regardless of how hard people work. Although it still promises success and better opportunities for America citizens, it recognizes the need for hard work and commitment to overcoming the various challenges that exist in today’s society.






















Work cited

Caldwell, Wilber. “Cynicism and the evolution of the American Dream” University of      Nebraska Press, 2011

Omara, Richard, “The evolution of the American Dream” The Christian Science Monitor,            2008

Schiller, Robert. “The transformation of the American Dream” The New York Times,        2017


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 Struggles faced by people of colour

The struggle that people of colour face are greatly as a result of the beliefs held by whites in the past where they believed that the whites were superior to any other race. Although great achievements have been made in the fight against discrimination on the basis of colour and race, there exists various constructs in society that continue to place people of colour at a disadvantage solely on the basis of their race. Increased diversity in society has led to the emergence of stereotypes that dictate norms which people follow and use to determine the nature of interactions that exist between members of the community as well as the attitudes they develop towards one another and society in general. While the goal is often to promote peaceful coexistence, people of colour are constantly discriminated against and most face different forms of oppression on a regular basis.

            Discrimination is the greatest challenge that people of colour have to face as it denies them access to opportunities that would enable them to lead better lives. Discrimination in schools for instance denies people of colour access to good quality education and the skills and knowledge needed to secure employment (Anderson et al, 2015). A significant number of people of colour live in poor neighbourhoods and find it difficult to access basic essentials such as food and shelter. Most of the people in such communities cannot afford to take their children to school and majority end up dropping out. Parents who can afford to educate their children also have to settle for poor quality education (Perez, 2020). Since education is one of the best tools to help raise people from poverty, lack to quality of education has placed people of colour in a recurring cycle where children are forced to lead the same lives as their parents.

            Discrimination is extended to the workplace especially when trying to secure jobs. Despite the challenges that exist when seeking education, people of colour who manage to complete their studies find it just as challenging to secure employment (Weller, 2019). Although most organization hire employees based off of their academic qualifications, it is common for employers to pick a white candidate over someone of colour. The decision is greatly influenced by the notion that whites are superior to people of colour and will therefore do a better job (RTOR, 2020). Although such misconceptions are based on outdated beliefs and stereotypes, they play a major role in the discrimination that people of colour are subjected to.

            The challenge in securing employment does not end in the recruitment stage but further extends in other aspects of an individual’s career. Majority of the menial work is reserved to people of colour while whites normally occupy the top positions. The difference in employment levels is greatly as a result of the quality of education that people of colour receive before seeking employment (Mitchell, 2020). Whites for instance are given better opportunities in pursuit of their education and majority get to graduate and excel in careers of their choosing. For people of colour however, education is somewhat limited and most study to the best of their ability before seeking employment (Ryan, 2011). Whites are therefore more qualified and continue to benefit from the benefits offered to them due to the colour of their skins. People of colour on the other hand are forced to settle for low paying jobs in the hope that the opportunity offered and added experience will increase their chances of securing a better life.

            Access to opportunities for people of colour is also hindered by society’s tendency to favour whites over people of colour. In a work setting for instance, whites are more likely to get job promotions, bonuses and awards compared to people of colour (Spencer, 2016). Although different organizations try to promote diversity by discouraging racism, whites are more likely to be promoted compared to people of colour especially on decision where candidates from the opposing races appear equal on paper (Cammarota et al, 2006). People of colour therefore find it difficult to excel in their careers and this forces them to live in the same communities that continue to place people of colour at a disadvantage.

            Discrimination on the basis of race has become so prevalent that people of colour have formed lobby groups and movements such as the Black lives matter to try and end the challenges that people of colour face. The Black Lives Matter movement for example seeks to end all forms of discrimination, oppression and violence against African Americans (NAEH, 2020). In the United States, people of colour fall victim to police brutality and the use of excessive force due to their differences in skin colour. Stereotypes that were used to define African Americans in the past have created an environment where police consider African Americans as being more prone to crime compared to people from other races (Saxon, 2019). This has led to police using more force than necessary when apprehending African American suspects. Other law enforcement officers are influenced by race and treat African American suspects as being inferior to other races such as whites.

            The different treatment extends not only to arrests but also during sentencing. Majority of inmates incarcerated in prisons are African Americans and people of colour despite whites engaging in similar, if not more criminal activity. Since African Americans are more likely to be convicted of a crime than whites, the population in prisons for people of colour tends to be higher because whites are not convicted as much (Perez, 2020). The systems that exists in society make it difficult for people of colour to overcome the challenges they face and constantly place them at a disadvantage.

            The challenges that people of colour face are greatly as a result of the continued belief that some races are superior, and therefor require preferential treatment. When whites are offered more opportunities than other races, it places others at a disadvantage because the opportunities that exist in society are meant to benefit everyone equally. There various protests, lobbyist movements and political intervention has made attempts to try and overcome some of the challenges that people of colour face. Changes made by learning institutions and employers attempt to reduce the disadvantage that people of colour face and create an equal playing field for people of all races. Although a lot needs to be done to resolve all the challenges that people of colour are subjected to, the existing developments suggest that the challenges that people of colour face today will not be as prevalent in the future.
















Cammarota J, (2006) “Beyond resistance! Youth activism and community change: New   democratic possibilities for practice and policy for America’s youth” Routledge

Mitchell F, (2020) “Covid-19’s disproportionate effects on children of colour will change the       next generation” Urban Wire

National Alliance to end Homelessness, (2020) “Racial inequality” retrieved from,                homelessness/inequality/

Perez E, (2020) “People of colour are protesting, here’s what you need to know about this            new identity” The Washington Post, retrieved from,                heres-what-you-need-know-about-this-new-identity/

RTOR, (2020) “The massive challenges faced by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of         Colour) who live with mental health disorders” retrieved from, indigenous-and-people-of-color-who-live-with-mental-health-disorders/

Ryan, J. (2011). Struggling for inclusion educational leadership in a neoliberal world.     Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.

Saxon S, (2019) “Study: People of colour face severe racial disparities in American          healthcare” Colorlines, retrieved from,         people-color-face-severe-racial-disparities-american-health-care

Spencer M, (2016) “The new coloured people: The mixed-race movement in America” NYU        Press

The Aspen Institute, (2005). “Structural Racism and Youth Development: Issues, Challenges,      and Implications.” Washington, D.C.

Weller E, (2019) “African Americans face systematic obstacles to getting good jobs” Centre        for American Progress, retrieved from,            n-americans-face-systematic-obstacles-getting-good-jobs


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Multicultural counseling


Part one: Racial, Ethnic, Immigration, or National Identity.

The panelist identifies as a black, heterosexual woman who is a United States citizen, born and raised there. Her parents have a US background as well and therefore have no indigenous background. She identifies herself as a Christian, has no history of mental illness, and considers to be in the middle-class group. She identifies as black as opposed to African Americans because she feels no connection to Africa as it is said that black people have their origins from Africa.

The panelist has been a victim of microaggressions and did not have a good experience with school counselors hence her reason to become a counselor. She has faced discrimination and oppression from school counselors in the past. Microaggressions are prejudices against excluded groups that expose themselves in a manner that makes the victim feel uncomfortable or offended (Sue et al. 2007). These biases could be verbal, behavioral, and environmental mortifications that are hostile towards a racial group and could either be intentional or unintentional.

           According to Day-Vines et al. (2007) studies show that there is a concern about the client’s mistrust of the mental health structure and evidence showing that counselors are involved in racial and ethnic bias. People of color will normally seek mental health services in large numbers as they make every effort to get through school, family, and career issues that may have been made difficult by the outcomes of racial discrimination. This calls for immense concern among counselors because they have an ethical role to provide racially suitable counseling interventions as it is required by the ACA Code of Ethics.

Research shows that being aware of the cultural aspects during a counseling process increases the credibility of the counselor, and results in client satisfaction. The client can feel free to disclose information and makes them willing to follow up on their sessions. Therefore introducing the subjects of race, ethnicity, and culture which is also referred to as broaching during the counseling procedure is significant and positively impacts both the counselor and the client (Day-Vines et al. 2007). Failing to consider racial issues and representation might hinder a counselor from identifying the unavoidable encounters with racism that the minority group members go through. Broaching allows the remedying of this silence and shame issue by providing an environment of emotional safety for the client.

The panelist experienced discrimination from the school counselors due to her race and studies show that race is the most contentious issue in US society. It is an issue up to date and therefore important for counselors to be racial alert to curb this issue. Research shows that culturally responsive counselors are perceived by clients of color to have more credibility and are competent compared to those that are not. My experience is different from that of the panelist because I have not been discriminated against or oppressed because of my color, maybe because am white. However, I do not think any person despite their race should be oppressed or discriminated based on their color or any other aspect. Racial microaggressions can cause more mental torture and more so coming from a counselor who is supposed to be supportive. It is just heartbreaking that the panelist had to go through such an experience. I can identify with the panelist’s experience because from time immemorial racial microaggressions exist in everyday life. 

Part two: Religion, Social Class and Classism

Spiritually and religiously, the panelist who is Dalad identifies as a catholic. Since she was young her parents were strict Catholics and had to attend church and this meant attending bible studies and other church activities. However, originally her mum believed in Islam and therefore was confusing for her because her mum had not informed her parents who were Muslims that she had changed her religion to Catholic. After her first communion, she told her grandparents about her Catholic religion and she now identifies herself as Catholic.

Dianne’s experience about social class includes her living a suburban middle-class life where she was not exposed much to economic classes. Her father had a good job and being the only child, her mum didn’t have to work. Living a suburban life did not allow her to get diverse exposure to social-economic groups. During her internship is when she encountered people struggling with social-economic status. People experience food security issues, lack of proper healthcare and most of the client's mental health needs then are dealing with the issue of frustrations, and not able to cope due to their economic class. This experience made her understand that people who don’t have basic needs cannot be able to express themselves and just want to have healthcare, eat, and sleep.

A privilege is a special advantage, right, or benefit that is given to or enjoyed by a person or a particular social class. According to Crozier (2015), privilege gives individuals the advantage of attending good schools and getting a good education. While for some of the underprivileged people find it hard to get job opportunities, or even get a good education, it is different for the privileged ones. When you are not privileged, you use the resources that are available and therefore could be limited to a certain social class (Shepard & Gibson 2020). On the other hand, the privileged are capable of exploring all options to find out what works for them.

My experience in terms of spirituality and religion is a different one because I am an atheist living in a town that the majority of the people are religious. For social class, I identify as a middle class which is different from the panelist because she is a suburban middle class. For the spiritual and religion panelist Dalad, I feel that everyone should have freedom of worship which she found confusing when still young. The Muslim and Catholic religions were confusing for her and besides, she was a child. I am happy that she later stood her ground and decided what she wanted. For Dianne, I feel that she was privileged enough to live in the suburbs and not worry about social-economic status. Coming from such a background and being able to work with clients from a very low social-economic class shows a lot of professionalism and care. I can identify with Dalad’s experience because I come from a town where the majority of the people are religious. With Dianne, I can identify to the level of professionalism and care for her clients because, despite the economic social class you come from, serving your clients with no bias and not overlooking them but understanding their needs is the ultimate goal.

Part four: Affectional Orientation and gender identity

Hus identifies herself as gay and a supporter of LGBT. She loves to express who she is in and out and doesn’t shy away from who she is. She has pictures of her and her wife on her webpage which made a client discriminate against her based on what she saw on her website. Because of having LGBT stuff on her profile, the client thought that she was not fit enough and dismissed her. Hus dresses in a masculine way but will not change that for anything. She works with members of the LGBT community as well. According to Harper et al. (2013), the LGBTQIQA community is believed to be strong and resilient and the role of working with people from this community is important. This is because the relationships that are made through this serve as affirmations and honor the lived experiences of individuals from this community. The LGBTQIQA community faces a lot of struggle to the hostile environment which makes it hard for them to thrive. It is therefore important to advocate with and for LGBTQIQA individuals, and groups to keep promoting their empowerment and just society that does not discriminate or oppress them.

Intersectionality is the exponentially challenging relations between genders, a race among other categories such as sexual orientation and social class (LaMantia, Wagner & Bohecker 2015). It is a consciousness of difference, oppression, and the outcomes of these relations in terms of power. Intersectionality is a difficult theory where people are faced with various magnitudes and cultural forms of discrimination and oppression. For one to understand the way identities are endorsed for constant control, it is important to first understand the social approach towards each of the self- endorsed identities. Having the knowledge and enough awareness, an individual is capable of understanding another person’s stand with the culture as a whole. For Hus, intersectionality applies in the sense that she is gay, and supports LGBT, and is a counselor. She is discriminated against because she supports the LGBT community and through this, some people think that she does not make a good counselor or decline her service because of her sexual orientation. Because of her stand to express herself for who she is, she is thought to be incompetent or unprofessional. Despite being a person who is well able to handle a situation, she is judged and discriminated against because of her code of dressing, and her style rather than be judged by her achievements and what she can offer.

Being an ally for the LGBTQ+ community entails being aware of who I am and my similarity or difference with the LGBTQ+ people. This includes having conversations with them, reading about their history and their lives, being a part of their workshops, seminars, and meetings (Harper et al. 2013). Being an ally also includes acquiring information on the issues that affect these individuals and getting to understand how sociocultural, political, and economic policies impact them. Being an ally entails supporting the individual's decision about coming out by listening to them and giving reflective responses because this too is a process. An ally needs to expedite an environment that is supportive by encouraging and promoting a space of respect through one’s actions. Using respectful language, having honest discussions about the community, and advocating for professional development activities that concern LGBTQ+ topics is also a significant aspect to consider as an ally.





















Crozier, G. (2015). Middle-class privilege and education. British Journal of Sociology of

Education, 36(7), 1115-1123.

Day‐Vines, N. L., Wood, S. M., Grothaus, T., Craigen, L., Holman, A., Dotson‐Blake, K., &

Douglass, M. J. (2007). Broaching the subjects of race, ethnicity, and culture during the counseling process. Journal of Counseling & Development, 85(4), 401-409.

LaMantia, K., Wagner, H., & Bohecker, L. (2015). Ally development through feminist

pedagogy: A systemic focus on intersectionality. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling9(2), 136-153.

Shepard D. L & Gibson E.M (2020). Cultivating social class awareness in the counseling profession. Counseling Today. Retrieved from

Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A., Nadal, K. L., &

Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: implications for clinical practice. American psychologist, 62(4), 271.

Taskforce, A. L. C., Harper, A., Finnerty, P., Martinez, M., Brace, A., Crethar, H. C., ... &

Kocet, M. (2013). Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling Competencies for counseling with lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, intersex, and ally individuals: Approved by the ALGBTIC board on June 22, 2012. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling7(1), 2-43.




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Police brutality on the Blacks

Every citizen is entitled to a safe, democratic, and economic enabling surrounding. To achieve this, a roof to have things running in order is put in place. The roof here is a governing body that ensures law and order are always maintained. However, not every situation is calm, and violence arises at times. It is the responsibility of the police to man the situation and restore calmness at any given time. The police's excessive use of force has risen in recent centuries in the ‘verge to maintain law and order.' This excessive force has caused a nightmare for those who fall victim. Brutal use of force by police towards Blacks in the United States has recently stirred up the media. The use of force by the police on the Blacks dates back from the error of slavery. The absence of a defined system fails to establish the extent of the brutality. This essay aims at outlining various police brutality instances and the effects they have caused.

Often brutality is constituted of excessive use of physical violence. Research has shown that brutality goes beyond the use of excessive force; it also involves emotional, sexual, verbal assault, and psychological torture (Chaney & Robertson, 2013). Police brutality goes beyond the usual misconduct and occurs even in the absence of conscious intension. Black people have more chances to be brutalized than Whites who enjoy some protection from the governing bodies. This outlines the racial disparity practiced by the United States' governing bodies, which upholds white’s supremacy over the Blacks. The undemocratic governing in the system degrades the health of the brutality victims (Chaney & Robertson, 2013). Other key fundamentals affected by the police brutality over the Blacks are;

Police brutality has been linked to causing injuries and death to the victims. This outlines how the police brutality relates to the health of the victim. According to the data collected by the UK newspaper department, it outlined that Blacks were at higher chances of brutal police killings as compared to the Whites (Alang et al ., 2017). The core outcome of police brutality is not ultimately the victim's death, but causes bodily harm to the victim, inducing injuries while in police custody. Black’s mortality rates in the United States is largely due to police killings (Alang et al ., 2017). It is unethical for the ruling bodies in any give nation to mistreat its citizens based on their race and ethnicity. I strongly oppose police use of excessive force racially as this weakens the trust and reliability the victims have with the governing bodies. Comprehensive research in regards to lethal handling of victims is an area that needs to be addressed.

Psychological stress is another area where police brutality has been linked. Victims of police brutality suffer both emotionally and psychologically (Bor et al., 2018). This is due to exposure to harassments, witnessing fellow individuals being tortured, unwarranted searches, and the brutality victims' death. The torture outlines how devaluing of life happens in police hands who should be on the forefront in safeguarding lives. A family member witnessing mishandling of their own is traumatized and often has eliciting negative emotions in case death takes place (Bor et al., 2018). The outcomes of stress elicit hormonal production to the victims, which causes more pain than joy. Such hormonal related changes may be altered heart rates and breathing rates whose results are fatal. For a victim recuperating from the brutality, the humiliation's recurring occurrence may have lethal lifetime effects such as organ failure.

Police brutality is also related to the racist public relations between the Blacks and the Whites. An attribute of self-explanation by the blacks to the whites in defending their mistreated allies is a norm in the United States (Bor et al., 2018). This move alters the cordial relation practiced by the interacting groups as one feels lesser in the system. For instance, a situation outlining how the victim of police brutality is responsible for their untimely death may cause conflict if a heated argument ensues. Another situation weakening the public relation is when the governing bodies are against the families of the democratic protest of the victims carry out as they seek justice (Bor et al., 2018). The government should ensure justice prevails at any given time to anyone mistreated. A sickening trend is forming where mistreatment or untimely death of black life is seen as a non-issue. Without a harmonious relationship amongst the Blacks and the Whites, little developmental progress takes place. Building an economy requires mutual interactions and sharing of ideas between various people. Police should exercise fair dealing and handling of the arising differences without racial discrimination.

The overall productivity of police brutality victims is reduced. A significant drawback of police brutality is altering the health well-being of an individual (Alang et al ., 2017). When this happens, the victims' productivity is reduced as they will have to nurse the injuries induced to them. In permanent disabilities, the victim's overall life is ruined, and a dependent trend is formed. Unplanned leave from work to mourn police brutality's death is a major threat to the people's financial well-being. Some of the unplanned leave is unpaid, and hence financial constrain becomes a factor. Where death happens, the productivity of the victim is cut from the cycle (Alang et al ., 2017). The victims' economic constraint leads to poor means of livelihood, and access to quality medication is factored out, cutting an individual's productivity. To solve this, access to social amenities should not be discriminatory and should be accommodating to all. Regulating police operations and their relations to the Blacks should be forthcoming.

As much as police brutality causes more harm than good, it has helped in reconstructing of the governing bodies. Police brutality has offered researchers room for researchers to dig down into how brutality can be solved harmonious and create a zero brutal governing body (Zoorob, 2020). A major step made in solving police brutality is by having tracking devices and body cameras mounted to the police. This has helped in monitoring how the police handle those found in the wrong. Another important move made to curb police brutality is by keeping data of all the police (Zoorob, 2020). This has helped in maiming those with progressive records of doing brutal encounters. Overall this has helped in creating a democratic ruling body.

In conclusion, police brutality is a vice that should be uprooted. Police brutality is not only practiced by the use of excessive force to individuals, but it has been established to be experienced emotionally and through races as well. Creating an enabling environment for people from all races should be a factor to be given priority in every nation. All individuals' emotional and psychological well-being should be prioritized, and a democratic foundation has been given to it. To achieve a progressive economic status, access to social amenities, regulating the governing bodies should be considered. A democratic nation is a wealthy nation.












Alang, S., McAlpine, D., McCreedy, E., & Hardeman, R. (2017). Police brutality and black health: Setting the agenda for public health scholars. American journal of public health107(5), 662-665.

Bor, J., Venkataramani, A. S., Williams, D. R., & Tsai, A. C. (2018). Police killings and their spillover effects on the mental health of black Americans: a population-based, quasi-experimental study. The Lancet392(10144), 302-310.

Chaney, C., & Robertson, R. V. (2013). Racism and police brutality in America. Journal of African American Studies17(4), 480-505.

Zoorob, M. (2020). Do police brutality stories reduce 911 calls? Reassessing an important criminological finding. American Sociological Review85(1), 176-183.





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  Comparative focus: Jim Crow segregation and South Africa apartheid


QUESTION 1: Why did whites in South Africa and the American South respond so violently to black protest movements? What was at stake?

            During apartheid in South Africa and the use of Jim Crow laws in America, it is evident that both nations have had applied the same discrimination or segregation mechanisms. In the process of using black protest movements, the whites were in fear of their safety. The enactment of these laws meant that blacks were not entitled to any form of equality. By responding violently to black protesters meant that it was easier for the whites to restrict blacks from getting employed, residing peacefully in their ancestral land, or enjoying any public utility that was meant for the whites (James, 2010). In South Africa, the government had formulated the pass law which restricted blacks from visiting main cities. The same laws required blacks to walk with their identification documents which in retain also increased the unemployment level of blacks (Bray et al., 2014). Therefore, by using violent attacks means that the whites were trying to protect the privileges they were enjoying.

            Nevertheless, the uprising of black protest was aimed at ensuring that segregation has been banned. Despite that, unrest continued to spread with various state organizations responding violently and with oppression. The whites in South Africa and the American South also promoted these oppressive actions through demanding anti-apartheid leaders and those opposing Jim Crow laws to be imprisoned. In South Africa, the reason as to why the European settlers responded violently to black protesters was because they felt blacks could outweigh them. After all, they were the minority in terms of their population (Jimerson, 2011). Furthermore, although in American South the natives (whites) were the majority, protecting their privileges meant that black rights were to be suppressed. All they wanted is to ensure that blacks have remained to be their servants.

             In South Africa and America, the Jin Crow laws and apartheid was something that was documented in the constitution. Because of these laws, blacks were segregated in impoverished regions. Such a scenario restricted them from enjoying their citizenship. As their motherlands, the black protest movement was meant to ensure that everyone was treated equally. In South Africa, for instance, the places occupied by the whites and the resources they enjoyed had been left to them by the European colonizers. After independence, the blacks wanted all that had been left to be theirs. Despite that, the whites were not willing to surrender or share such resources with them hence the need for frequently responding violently to black protesters. In South America, nothing was supposed to be allocated to blacks (Tischauser, 2012). America was their native land and blacks were only supposed to be submissive to them.

             In South Africa, the whites were not interested to be assimilated with any culture there. They left their local languages and culture to continue enduring. In South America, forced assimilation was based on the notion of establishing Africa-American culture. Because of this difference, the whites knew very well that black's civil rights movements were aimed at ensuring that everyone had embraced each other regardless of cultural, social, political, or religious differences. Despite that, whites in South Africa and the American South were not willing to take that into consideration (Nancy & William, 016). By responding violently to black porters and using state organizations meant that the whites were not ready to ensure that each person has been treated with equality.

            Naturally, when voting rights are extended to each citizen based on ethnicity, sex, or race, a country cannot have a true democratic system. Therefore, in the process of extending voting rights to blacks, whites in South Africa and the American South felt that it could have been possible for the blacks to champion their rights. On this basis, the reason for responding violently to black protesters was to ensure that blacks had always remained to be their subjects.

QUESTION 2: What other differences, besides the numerical ones, can you identify between the two situations?

  1. a) Government policy- one of the primary differences between the two situations is that Apartheid in South Africa was established as a state policy of segregation and racism. Such a scenario was formulated and passed down from the highest government levels as writings in the constitution. On the other hand, Jim Crow laws were established as informal laws that everyone had to accept and follow after the abolishment of slavery. These laws were never documented in the constitution of America (Fremon, 2014). Even though both states utilized prohibitive laws to make Blacks occupy impoverished regions, Blacks in South Africa were stripped of their citizenship. As a result of that, Blacks were forced to occupy independently managed homelands so that the government can realize a white majority. To deter South African Blacks from leaving their homelands, pass laws were enacted. As it was formulated by the pass law, South African Blacks were required to walk with their identification cards as opposed to the situation that thrived in America.
  2. b) Majority versus minority – according to the historical research conducted, in South Africa, the Black population was about 80%, and that of the whites was roughly 13%. South Africa used to be the home of the British and Dutch settlers. Although the blacks were not enslaved, the whites did not force them to be assimilated with their culture. Local culture and languages continued to prosper. Regardless of that, blacks were the majority segregating whites (Shireen & Arianna, 2017). In America, the situation was different. In America, the whites were the majority population discriminating the blacks. Originally, they had their own culture, language, and beliefs. But after forced assimilation, the development of Africa-American culture made them forget their ways of life (Tischauser, 2012). Because of that whites were native individuals while blacks were the minority being brought there as slaves.
  3. c) Impacts of violent demonstration- Nevertheless, instances of violence between whites and blacks in South Africa and America were somehow different. In South Africa, peaceful demonstrations were used to champion civil rights. In America, Jim Crow laws resulted in violent protests in which most cases police could beat Black protesters. The level of violent events was extremely high in South Africa as compared to America (Fremon, 2014). Despite the "peaceful demonstrations" at times police could open fire to protesters of South Africa. A notable example is the shooting that occurred in Soweto school in the late 1970s and Sharpeville Massacre of the late 1960s (Bray et al., 2014). Ideally, the civil rights movements formed by the black protesters were based on the idea of ensuring that both races have confronted their problems in the same way in their stages of evolution.




Fremon, D. K. (2014). The Jim Crow laws and racism in United States history. Berkeley Heights, NJ : Enslow Publishers, Inc.

In Bray, M., In Adamson, B., & In Mason, M. (2014). Comparative education research: Approaches and methods. Cham : Springer Press

James, F.D. (2010). Who Is Black?: One Nation's Definition. Penn State Press

Jimerson, R. O. (2011). Passing the ancestral torch: The life, times, struggles, and legacy of Theodore Roosevelt Spikes. [Bloomington, Indiana] : Xlibris

Nancy, L.C & William, H.W. (2016). South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid. Seminar Studies. Routledge Press

Shireen, A & Arianna, L. (2017). New Histories of South Africa's Apartheid-Era Bantustans. Taylor & Francis Press

Tischauser, L. V. (2012). Jim Crow laws. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Greenwood


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African American Criminalization and the Black Lives Matter Movement

Annotated Bibliography

Golash-Boza, Tanya. “Structural Racism, Criminalization, and Pathways to Deportation for

Dominican and Jamaican Men in the United States.” Social Justice, vol. 44, no. 2-3

(148), 2017, pp. 137–162. JSTOR, Accessed 4 May


Tanya Golash-Boza, a professor in sociology argues that criminalization and structures of racism affects the immigrants. She emphasizes on the role of criminalization and structural racism which she draws from an interview where she engages Jamaican and Dominican male deportees.  She stresses the point of the black male immigrants being affected by structural racism by including scholars who have studied about race and detention and have come to an agreement that the largest number of imprisonments have had increased impact on the black community. She believes that detention is an obvious life consequence for most of the black men. Her research shows that regardless of how black immigrants live and embrace American society, criminalization means that they can be deported at any time. She points out that black immigrants are high suspects in criminal convictions even when they are living a straight life.

Tanya Golash-Boza resonates with the Du Bois quote because being in the black community makes you be a suspect. It makes one feel like he or she does not belong or fit in. Structural Racism causes inequality and discrimination and puts the black people in a disadvantaged place. Just by being a black immigrant, any criminal conviction can lead to you being deported meaning being a black person is a crime.

Hooker, Juliet. “Black Lives Matter and the Paradoxes of U.S. Black Politics: From Democratic

Sacrifice to Democratic Repair.” Political Theory, vol. 44, no. 4, 2016, pp. 448–469., Accessed 4 May 2020.

Political philosopher Juliet Harriet in this article focuses on the black lives matter movement and the reactions of other people concerning it. She is more particular to the people who come out to protest against the police violence and the regular killing of the black people. She tries to present deeper questions on the kind of systems the black people who feel that their rights have been violated should follow. The fact that state institutions and other citizens do not show concerns on the suffering of the black people makes her pose questions like if the black people’s status is losers. She tries to make sense of the negative critics by commentators about the black lives matter movement and the list of black people including women and children who are not armed being killed by violent white men. She also notes that white public opinion does not support the black lives matter movement against violence from the police.

Juliet Harriet’s article is relevant to the Du Bois quote because with that lack of policies that consider the black community because they are viewed as losers. The black lives matter movement is not supported by the white people and is often criticized by commentators. This shows that to the other citizens the movement should not be considered. Black people are face a lot of suffering, being killed but even the sate institutions do not have any concerns about it. This shows how the blacks are disadvantaged and how they are treated or violated does not matter.

Rosich, Katherine J. 2007. Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System. Washington, DC:

American Sociological Association.


Rosich discusses about crime and punishment that have represented the highest rate of the racial divide in America. She argues that the African Americans who had a very low percentage in the country had the highest percentage in prison and that there is discrimination in the sentencing laws and the hardest punishments are given to black people. Rosich points out that revolution movements have made discrimination that is based on race unlawful but ethnic and racial differences still exist in crime and unlawful justice. She expounds on the social factors such as unemployment, poverty, and exclusion that explain the racial and ethnic differences in data on serious crime. She includes other researchers in the article who have contributed towards understanding crime and race but still many issues keep generating debate and controversies. Rosich recognizes scholars who propose that data systems extend racialism because they develop analytical support for labeling the blacks as vulnerable to criminality.

This articles resonates with the Du Bois quote because it asserts that discrimination on the black people makes them longer sentencing and the hardest punishments. It seems like being black is a problem and comes with many disadvantages. The blacks have been labelled to be vulnerable to criminality and this is because of the social factors that curb them. Because of lack of employment, being poor and other social disadvantages, the blacks are perceived to always want to commit crime.

Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. From #blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation. , 2016. Internet


Taylor who is an assistant professor speaks of the criminal justice system, police murder, and brutality towards African American which is not as big as it sounds.  She puts emphasis on a research that was done in the shootings that happened in Philadelphia which showed that several police officers had violated the law but out of them, the highest percentage of them were not suspended or terminated. She also talks about the rate at which the black people are detained which is six times more compared to that of the whites. Taylor explains of the structured over imprisonment of black people and in particular the black men. This is the result of a combination of race, risk, and incrimination to justify the close investigation of the black community. She also points out that the detention of African American men has led to the general stigma and lucrative disempowerment. Racial discrimination is the cause of inequalities between the whites and blacks in terms of employment, the quality of housing, poverty, and access to education.

In terms of racial discrimination, Taylor resonates with the Du Bois quote because it shows the little or no chances a black man has in getting or securing a job and it’s just because of his color. Police violence and brutality towards the black community is not viewed as an issue of concern. This is because African Americans are perceived to be dangerous, careless, and immune to pain. They are not shown any compassion or any basic humanity and this is what leads the police in murdering black people with no justified reason. This shows that maybe even with the movement of black lives matter which words are so clear, to the law enforcement officers black lives do not matter at all.


African American criminalization is based on color. The blacks have been victims of police violence and sometimes with no justified evidence. African Americans have been victims of murder even when they are unarmed. The highest percentage of blacks in prison compared to whites is incomparable. The sentencing of black people is different from that of whites. Racial discrimination is evident in the criminal justice system showing how much black people are discriminated against. Poverty, unemployment, and poor housing status have contributed largely to racial discrimination. Blacks have been stereotyped as people who should not be treated humanely and should not be shown any empathy. This is evidence that they do not matter and the more reason why there is regular murder of the black people by the police.

The ideas of Plato on justice help to understand this issue by defining the roles of justice. Causing harm to a human being is wrong despite being an enemy or be it fighting back. It is unjust to harm a person since a human being despite their race has a right to justice. Murdering a black man or causing harm to them does not make the police better than the black men. If so they are worse and acting unjustly. Justice should not make people unjust or make good people bad. The criminal justice system should not be discriminative in its policies of imprisonment and how people are detained and sentenced. It should act equally despite a person’s race and crime. White and black people who commit the same type of crime should be judged by the crime committed and not the racial difference. Because laws are not always just, policies should be implemented considering the equal treatment of every citizen and not discriminating to either.

Blacks, particularly the black men are in high numbers in the prisons and this is because they are perceived to be harmful or engage in harmful acts. The chances of a white person who has a criminal record to be hired for a job is easy compared to a black man who has no criminal record. This increases the rate at which poverty strikes the black people and also shows how they are extremely discriminated against. Even with the protests against the violence from the police, the whites still do not support their notion of black lives matter. The black lives matter movement has been criticized a lot and seen as if it is against the whites whereas it only raises concerns about the violence and brutality used by the police on the black people. Although there still exist racial differences in the justice system, discrimination has reduced.

Police officers who were found guilty of murder after research was done kept on working. They were not suspended or terminated and this shows how black lives did not matter and had no rights. Plato’s idea of self-governance would have a positive change to the African American criminalization. Police officers who are found guilty for murder would be charged and sentenced. The black community would be able to have good access to education, employment, and quality housing. Discrimination of the African American will reduce or come to an end because policies would be made with them in mind. Murder and violence by policemen just because a person is black will come to an end. Doing what is right is motivated by morals that are got through education or the general knowledge that one has. It is always good to be just rather than be unjust. Police officers should learn how to be just to everybody including African Americans. The criminal justice system should be just when dealing with any crime depending on the person that has committed the crime.

























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            Colorism is a traditional term that is used to refer to differential treatment, discrimination, or prejudice against dark-skinned people from the same racial or ethnic background. Therefore, this terminology is important because it assists in demonstrating the fact that dark skin is what acts as the supreme bottom step in the hierarchy. As a result of that, it can be argued that the impacts of colorism based on prejudice end up posing psychological and structural obstacles for different ethnic groups, particularly concerning the differences that exist within a certain ethnic group (Chavez et al., 2013).

            Colorism is a phenomenon that came to rise during the domination of the western colonial regime. During this time, distinctions based on individual skin tone particularly between African slaves was established and abused by their white masters. For instance, Mu slaves were given more preferences to execute household chores by their white masters while dark-skinned slaves were allowed to remain in the field. The reason for such differential treatment was to give them the opportunity to free themselves from the harsh climatic conditions of the plantations. Even though after the end of the western colonial era, the preferences for light skin slaves continued to dominate or thrive for black Americans (Kimberly, 2015).

                        Nonetheless, historical literature indicates that the context of colorism in Asia was also used as the basis for exercising prejudice to dark-skinned blacks. The reason underlying such differential treatment is because light-skinned individuals were perceived to be valuable commodities. Ideally, light-skinned people symbolized virtue, femininity, or female attractiveness. Furthermore, light-skinned people acted as a symbolic mark of social class. Because of that, it was easier for the community to draw a clear line that existed between elite classes (light-skinned people) from working classes (dark-skinned people or those that labored outside). Regardless of the fact that these events predate western interactions with African slaves, it is evident it was that contact that brought a huge influence of colorism in Asian. For instance, in North Africa and different parts of Asia, heavier weight and light-skinned was perceived to be symbols or markers for high social rankings and wealth.

 In accordance with that, it evident that Native Americans, Europeans, and their offspring have also continued to embrace the fact that light-skinned children or individuals are the ones that have greater privileges or opportunities. In return, it has been found that such cultures or perceptions were also experienced in countries such as the Caribbean, South Africa, and India where importation of slaves furthered or promoted colorism (Kimberly, 2015).

 Nevertheless, according to historical research, colorism or the preference to a particular skin tone has a huge impact on individual health outcomes, self-efficacy, life contentment, self-esteem, work opportunities, and so on. To date, the preference for light skin can be regarded as being a silent factor in the United States. The reason for that is because society has come to realize blacks with dark skin tones are treated and evaluated more negatively as compared to light-skinned blacks by both blacks and white. As a result of that, this explanation validates the fact that colorism can not only occur between people of the same race but also between races (Maxwell et al., 2015).

 Additionally, the available pieces of evidence suggest that the issue of colorism is also gendered biased.  The historical or traditional relationship that existed amongst individuals about what or to who is beautiful is one of the aspects that have greatly contributed towards colorism. For example, some parents, especially African-Americans might have show preferential treatment for children with light skin tone because of the internalized discriminations. Furthermore, due to the greater opportunities black parents anticipated to afford in the typical white community, light-skinned kids continued to be of more preference (Kimberly, 2015). In return, it is evident that this phenomenon has the propensity of infecting and affecting women more as compared to men.

            On the other hand, as the modern cultural practice, the issue of colorism is what has continued to impact the wellbeing of various communities with complex and profound histories of racism, colonialism, or racial interbreeding.  For example, as a result of a practice termed as whitewashing, entertainment industries have continued to embrace the issue of colorism. In several instances, white performers are selected to represent the role played by blacks during historical times. Likewise, light-skinned black people are chosen over dark-skinned counterparts to perform privileged duties while acting (Hannon, 2015). What this implies is the fact that biases towards skin color have continued to negatively impact contemporary society by affecting individual interactions and perceptions in profound and subtable ways.

 Last but not least, color-conscious mockery or banter between individuals from the same race or different races aid in reflecting the unspoken and unconscious discrimination or prejudices that favor light skin people. As a result of that, this scenario assists in illustrating some of the differential cultural expectations that exist as a result of the external appearances of each person (Chavez et al., 2013). Regardless of that, people from the same or different races face diverse economic expectations, different education, or different realities because of colorism.








Chavez-Dueñas, N., Adames, H., & Organista, K. (2013). Skin-Color Prejudice and Within-Group Racial Discrimination. Hispanic Journal Of Behavioral Sciences36(1), 3-26. doi: 10.1177/0739986313511306

Hannon, L. (2015). White Colorism. Social Currents2(1), 13-21. doi: 10.1177/2329496514558628

Kimberly, J.N. (2015). "If You Is White, You’s Alright. . . .” Stories About Colorism in America, 14 WASH. U. GLOBALSTUD. L. REV. 585 (2015),

Maxwell, M., Brevard, J., Abrams, J., & Belgrave, F. (2014). What’s Color Got To Do With It? Skin Color, Skin Color Satisfaction, Racial Identity, and Internalized Racism Among African American College Students. Journal Of Black Psychology41(5), 438-461. doi: 10.1177/0095798414542299


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Article summary

The article 'Black women's studies: The interface of women's studies and black studies' by Beverly Guy-Sheftal is a call to action that advocates for more recognition of the challenges that African American women have had to overcome.  It also seeks recognition for African American women who have had a significant impact in the fight for equal rights for African American women and everyone in society in general.  The article is part of the various discussions and research that was conducted after influencers, writers and other members of the community discovered that platforms meant to advocate for the rights of African Americans and women in general failed to address the needs of African American women in specific.  The article has relevance in that it addresses the topic of discrimination on the basis of race which is a major issue in society.  Unlike other research that mostly focuses on fighting for equality for all people regardless of race or gender,  the article narrows down its arguments to focus on African American women after the discovery that women of color are often left out in discussions and publications that fight for the rights of African Americans and women. 

The author gives a thorough description on the plight that African American women have faced over the years and what led to the need for studies that focus specifically on addressing the needs of African American women.  The step by step breakdown of how events transpired in the past to give rise to black women's studies is done thoroughly, detailing relevant events and influential people that have had the most impact on black women's studies.  In addition, ideas are presented in a manner that creates flow and is easy to understand thus allowing the target audience to follow the breakdown of ideas and understand what the author seeks to accomplish thought the article. 


Question: can women studies be considered a tool for alienating African American women as it treats them as different from other women from different races?



The article ' Invincible southern black women leaders in the civil rights movement: The triple constraint of gender race and class' by Bernice McNair Barnett discusses the various obstacles that prevented African American women from being recognized for the role they played in the fight to end discrimination against African Americans.  According to the author, African Americans not only had to overcome racial discrimination but also discrimination on the basis of gender and race.  Women were often considered as passive participants in the fight to end discrimination on the basis of race especially because men were considered as superior to women.  In addition, most of the focus on the need to end racial discrimination was founded on the need to abolish slavery and most of the attention was given to African American men rather than all people of color regardless of gender. 

The author gives a thorough description on how gender and class prevented African American women from getting recognition for their contributions in the civil rights movement.  Despite engaging in activities such as organizing protests, mobilizing people and gathering support for the civil rights movement, African American women did not get credit for their input compared to their male counterparts and white women.  This, according to the author, was due to the fact that women were considered irrelevant or inferior to men and their contribution was watered down because their gender was not associated with anything positive.  The author also argues that white women activists got more recognition as African American women belonged to a lower class in society compared to whites.  By discussing the impact that discrimination on the basis on gender, race and class had on African American women, the author successfully explains why women of color failed to get the recognition they deserved for their contributions.


Question: With the success of attempts to bring equality, are women likely to be recognized for their efforts in the civil rights movement or will their contributions be forgotten?
















The article 'Keeping black women at the center: A conversation between Gloria T Hull and Barbara Smith suggests that a lot of African American history has been left out and may even be forgotten due to the tendency to leave out contributions from women.  The discussion between the two women is a discussion on their book where they point out how issues such as racism and gender inequality limit the amount of research in African American history especially in regards to female contribution.  Despite the huge impact that African American women had in the fight for equality, most of the research that exists focuses on the contribution from African American men while women rarely get recognition. 

The dialogue between the two authors helps to create real life examples of he challenges that researchers and writers face when discussing the topic on black women studies. Despite having gone to different schools, both authors lacked enough information to assist them in writing their book despite racism and gender inequality being addressed by different researchers throughout history.  A good example is the lack of information on African American women contribution to end racial discrimination that both writers lacked while in school. The article has relevance in that it tries to do away with issues such as racism and gender discrimination which are still relevant issues in today's society.  Their experiences and ideas on the impact that racism and gender discrimination presents a good case on why there should be more literature on African American women and their contributions in the fight for equality.

Question: What impact would including more literature on African American women contributions in the fight for equality have in doing away with issues related to gender equality and racism?


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Ethnography of African American Youths and the impact Hip hop and rap music makes on them.

This ethnography contains an inquiry into the culture of African American youths and how the so called “hip hop culture” influences them. Through the lens of African American youths this study explores the impact of hip hop on the youths’ sense of fashion, language and their own identity. This study also draws from Dimitriadis (2001) and Kitwana (2002) and many others. The time spent with Black youths who listen to these two genres of music is well documented. The different opinion of these youths is significant and allows for a better understanding of the youths’ interest and reverence of rap and hip-hop culture. This study was chosen because of the wide spread literature of hip hop music that deal with fashion, music and identity and also because hip hop music has been a source of inspiration for this youths and it was time to understand why. Looking back at the 1970s and 1980s music language was hip. Many teens were known to sing along raps such as “These are breaks” it was vulgar language but one full of hip rhymes. Literature records that the youths’ fashion in the 1980s were influenced by these music and fashion has never been that hippest. This document contains the methodology that was used to conduct the study, which are observations interviews and surveys. It also contains a discussion of the results of the study.

Taking a look at the past the culture of African American has been enriched by the oral traditions of their fore fathers who were there during the time of slavery. Over the centuries, slave narratives were the sound of experience of many African American experience. Over the centuries their culture depended on family, community and church since they were the determinants of the beliefs of these people. Black youths have grown up being disciplined with the language and culture of their fore fathers (Kitwana, 2002). However, as time went by things were changing and things such as hip-hop music and rap were influencing the beliefs of these youths. Often hip-hop music is presented through the media using negative images and faith-based communities and political leaders dismiss hip hop with the excuse it does not benefit these youths at all.  

Despite the reasoned opinion of faith-based communities and political leaders these youths are misjudged because of wearing sagging pants, baggy oversized t-shirts and listening to loud music. Initially these youths were seen as vulgar and rough but this ethnography has proved otherwise. The interviews from the study explain that sagging of pants originated from prisons, since these prisoners were not allowed to wear any belts therefore their pants were always hanging (Dimitriadis, 2001). This shows the impact these incarcerated members of the Black community had on the youths and from these many of rappers and hip-hop music started to sag their pants and they are responsible for influencing the generations that came after them.

Hip hop is a fascinating genre of music. It has a special connection to the youth culture in schools and in the outside community. If teachers, educators and churches had more information on hip hop culture and its impacts on youths all positive and negative impacts they would develop a better curriculum that would be responsible for fostering academic achievements within the context of a school environment. In primary grade teachers mostly engage students in music as they are in the process of learning (Dimitriadis, 2001). As they continue from one grade to another, they are taught using visual arts, movement and dances. The students are more likely to attain success using creative techniques such as hip hop and rap music. When the education curriculum meets all the needs of these students it gives the students a chance to achieve and utilizing their full potentials. Since this study is limited to the youths only and mostly those that are still in school. An observation of African American youths in the upper elementary and mostly in the fifth and sixth grade revealed that many of them have issues with their behaviors and academic performance and most of these students were wearing clothes that can be associated with the hip hop music genre, interviews with these students revealed that they were more informed about hip hop and the earliest and latest gurus of rap. Interviews with these students also revealed they were ready to learn but in a different style.

The core purpose of this study was to explore how this popular pop culture, especially the hip hop culture can be used to engage black youths in culturally relevant practices. It is clear that this genre of music had an impact on the identity, fashion and the language of these youths (Dimitriadis, 2001). By using hip hop culture teachers and educators can be able to address the curricular need of these students who seem to requires a different method of being taught. This study aimed at addressing questions such as, how do Black students understand hip hop in an academic context and how doe rap addresses the societal issues of African American students. Lastly, how can hip hop be used in a positive way impact the culture of students and especially African American students.

Changes in American society are responsible for influencing changes in the curriculum. Many times, the youth depend on the media and because of rap and hip hop the image, voices, attitudes and language of black youths has changed. The silenced voices of black youths have now started being voiced using hip hop (Weaver, 2005). Despite the study focusing on black youths, Hip hop encompassed the culture of African American, Latinos, Native Americans, and white within the east and west of the coast. Youths of all culture have started to embrace rap music. Kitwana (2002). projects that more youths of today are turning to rap music, rap music video and the faces, attitude of youths are been found to have some elements of black youths.

 From the observation done more urban schools are increasingly becoming more diverse as large number of students who are culturally diverse become admitted to these schools. The background of these students differs a lot from the background of their teachers, it is important to develop a curriculum that will cater for all those students (Cochran-Smith, 2004). A culturally relevant pedagogy that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge. The Black minorities are many in these schools and their culture and mostly the pop culture should be incorporated into the methods that are used to teach them.

Gay (2002) notes the traditional system of education is only responsible for the achievements of white students which it does by building a positive aspect of the European culture and contributed to the underachievement for many students of students of color by ignoring the strengths of their culture. It is high time that the culture of these Black youths becomes incorporated into the education system. Along the way of conducting this study few challenges occurred. This study was conducted on these youths mostly in schools. And building a rapport with these youths who were the focus of the study was the main challenge. Before conducting interviews, these students had to sing a consent form to show that they were aware that they were part of a research being carried out and in order to ensure that all ethical procedures of carrying out an ethnographic study was followed. a small percentage of these youths refused to sing their consent form a sign that they were unwilling to participate in the study.

General interviews included structured and semi-structured, informal and retrospective interviews. In open ended questionnaire the students were asked to identify the legends of hip hop that they know and popular hip hop songs that they are familiar with. Audio taped interviews that contained questions such as; Who is the best rapper and what is their most popular albums, and hip hop is known for its realism and what is the greatest problem that is facing the generation of youths that identify themselves with hip hop. Observation and interviewing went for about three weeks. This study found out that hip hop can be used to address the educational, societal and cultural needs of our young people. Responses such as students want hip hop to be incorporated into their classroom work, students are influenced by social media ands students embrace fashion and style of hip hop were gotten from the students. The Journey of hip hop from the margins of the cultural mainstream marks a pivotal moment in the history of America (Watkins, 2005). Hip hop is a global appeal and its here to stay and further studies should be done on it and how it can further be incorporate in all levels of education.


 The above is a result of an ethnographic study conducted on African American youths in order to understand the impact hip hop and rap music has on them and how it can be incorporated into the curriculum in order to contribute to their academic achievement. The study was conducted through lots of observations and interviews. It was noted that many youths engage and identify themselves with hip hop due to the negative image that pop culture is associated with however that should not be the case. In regards to the above scenario, hip hop culture is here to stay and the youths are not likely to stop identifying themselves with it especially the black youths, therefore, to cater for the diversity of these youths in their learning environment pop culture should be introduced one way or another into the education curriculum.






Cochran-Smith, M. (2004). Walking the road: Race, diversity, & social justice in teacher education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Dimitriadis, G. (2001). Performing identity/ performing culture: Hip hop as text, pedagogy, and   lived practice. New York: Peter Lang.

Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, & practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Watkins, W.H. (2001). The white architects of black education: Ideology and power in America, 1865-1954. New York: Teacher’s College Press.
Kitwana, B. (2002). Hip hop generation: Young blacks and the crisis in African American            culture. New York: Persus Books Group

Weaver, J. (2005). Popular culture primer. New York: Peter Lang.




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Contribution of Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement

March 1963 marks the most memorable day in history when events of Civil Rights Movement took place. Many citizens gathered at the nation’s capital to chant and pant the racial discrimination exhibited in the U.S.A society. People received the great Martin Luther’s statement of ‘I have a Dream’ with a lot of impact as it challenged the U.S society to lead a future life without discrimination of race. Even though King advocated for racial equality among other leaders, there was one voice, which still had no say in the society. Women, to be more precise black women never had the opportunity to participate in the March. This paper analyzes the role Black Women played to ensure the success of Civil Rights Movement to promote good governance based on the book “African Woman, the Original Guardian Angel” by Ishakamusa Barashango.

Black women greatly contributed to the movement but due to discrimination, their efforts could not have been acknowledged. The African American woman was determined to fight for her rights and her family right (Ishakamusa 24).Thus, when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference planned the movement, Black women on the other hand including the Council of Black women planned to go on a march concerning their visibility. Negro movement became more vital after the assassination of Medgar Ever in 1963 who was a Civil Rights activist. Men felt that women were trying to defile the main aim of the March when they kept on asking gender-related questions. Majority of the men believed that women were going for the March with a divided attention, their aim being sexism and not racism.

In the local communities, black women mobilized citizens to join the March and were in charge of the movement capital. These were vital roles which if neglected, the March could be deemed unsuccessful. Black women were good in mobilizing people as they have a convincing power ((Ishakamusa 36).Amidst all the support that women contributed to in the March, it was a great disappointment when women were given a minimal attention in the March after all the engagements with other organizations. Height and Hedgeman being the most powerful women behind the sexism drive, they were told that a black singer by the name Jackson would represent all interests of the African American women who yearned for Civil Rights justice. To the women, this was an addition of salt to injury since Mahalia Jackson was a famous gospel singer who could stand against racism but would not grace the platform as a Civil Rights speaker.

Rustin and other organizers tried to underestimate the power of black women in the move as some other men fought for women direct representation in the March. Pauli Murray who served as a consultant to J.F. Kennedy’s Presidential commission stated that it was very bitter for Negro women to get a token recognition in the great historic March. Although, he was not surprised since most men were the organizers of the March and socially they were expected to take on social roles. Even though women were disappointed by the move, they had no choice but to still support the move because it was advocating for racism in which they were also included. Women felt that end of racism would mean equal treatment by the government (Crawford et al 43). They felt the need to terminate the race issue as it was of more significance as at that time as compared to their sexism issues.

Since the beginning of the March, black women were known to be at the fore front for calling Civil Rights organizations, church congregations, and different communities to join the March. Even the though the movement was mean to fight racism, through examination it is proved to be gendered. The gender of the black women only allowed them to serve as clerks and in domestic positions within the organization of the Civil Rights. Anytime they deviated from their roles to pick up bigger roles, they always crossed line with the men who worked at the same organization. This discrimination was despite the fact that Black women could perform better than men in the bigger roles, because a black woman has the interest of everybody at heart (Ishakamusa, 34).The movement experienced some changes in the ideology from 1960-1970, female involvement and ideological differencing being the most significant issues. There has always been different ideologies in the struggle of the blacks to get liberation in America. They employ radical stance and conservative stance as ways of achieving liberation.

Organizations for example the Black Panther Part for Self-Defense had males as the leaders in its initiation. It did not create a conducive environment for women as they were neglected to formal leadership and membership involvement only. The female were panthers became active in receiving orders from superior males and defended brigades. Black women also organized for many demonstrations without fear of being killed by the military, due to their bold nature (Collier and Franklin, 26). Also, the Black women taught the uneducated people how to recite and write to enable them to participate in fight for freedom and liberation together. Black women suffered under tough circumstances and this cruel oppression gave them the ego to fight for their own liberation and lives. Their involvement in the racial discrimination March was in their benefit too. Often at times they received unfair treatment during their search for houses and jobs, and experienced segregation by the whites in public facilities.

Prominent Women in Civil Rights Movement

Many African American women took part in this race, but among them there are some individuals that need to be acknowledged because of their impact in the movement. Rosa Parks being one of them, she joined Association for the improvement of Black People and worked on African Americans (Crawford et al 38). Later, Rosa became an activist for civil rights activists throughout the Alabama. The people considered Rosa as the mother of freedom as she used her actions as an ordinary black woman to show the significance of African American individuals struggling for Civil rights. She became significant sign for the association. Some of the other vital women included Ella Baker, one of the founder members of Martin Luther’s Conference. Through her period in the organization, Ella persuaded and convinced more people to join the movement. She organized for more support from the North to help in financial aids and materials to help those in the Southern Organizations. She acted as a good example to many black women and encouraged the women more to fight for their rights.

 Septima Clark is also not ruled out as she noticed that many Whites used the illiteracy of the blacks to stop them from casting their votes. This motivated her to construct a program specifically targeting the blacks to educate the people on how to write and read. Majority of Black learnt how to recite and write through the help of Clark and the knowledge helped them to fight for their rights and to vote. Clark’s contribution shows that Black women had compassion for others and they cared for the welfare of the society (Crawford 36). Her interventions not only helped the blacks to know how to read and write but it gave meaning into their lives and saw the need to pursue their dreams.

Fannie Lou Hamer was a dedicated woman who led a life dedicated to fighting for racial injustice and promoted black Americans choice to vote and indulge in politics. She was amongst the founder members of Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964 and later ran for Congress the following year (King 68). Even though she did not achieve the seat, she lived a life full of legacy that shall not be forgotten. She served the people whole heartedly and her goal was to rule everyone equally.

 Dorothy Height focused on improving the lives and opportunities for both African men and women. Height worked in conjunction with other activists including Martin Luther King to advocate for the Human rights movement. She had a significant duty in the 1963 movement and assisted in founding National Women’s Political Caucus (Chisholm 33). Dorothy’s dream was to see equal distribution of opportunities regardless of race.

Diane Nash was an influential student leader who helped in founding Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and led the rights to vote movement. She was fearless advocate who gives a good example to students on the powers they have to create change. Jo Ann Robinson spearheaded the Bus Boycott in 1955 after Rosa Parks was arrested (Collier & Franklin 47). She distributed more than fifty thousand flyers informing black Americans to boycott use of city buses. Her belief helped propelled Civil Rights Movement as she had strong faith in nonviolent protests.

The mentioned black women greatly contributed in Civil Rights Movement through changing many African Americans’ lives among other women not mentioned above. Also, there was black widow who lived in the South Salma who offered her house as a resting point and a campsite for the activists (King 68). These women not only gave useful resources to the activists but also provided moral and spiritual for the activists. Throughout the movement, women were known for singing human rights’ songs mostly in the house of God to bring hope to the hopeless black Americans. Easy lyrics made them sing in unison but the strong links that resulted from the song gave more strength to push on for their rights and helped them be persistent.

Effects of the Movement

A huge success came the way of the blacks as they achieved freedom of their rights in 1964. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was highly beneficial to women’s rights that has only been a dream before (Chisholm 31). The act advocated for equal right and this made some Black women to gain entry into some professions that were only allowed for the White women while the educated women managed positions in science and business fields.

            There were two main institutions where mobilization took place including political activities. These were the black churches and the Historical Black Colleges and Universities. These venues especially the church and the school served a major role in training of leaders and politicians of high social status (Crawford et al 49). Even though there was no full representation of the black societies in the institution, there was a provision of a social base to be accessed by the civil rights activists because of the available resources that might be required though their course.

Role of the Black Woman’s Religious Nature

Black woman’s religious and divine nature played an essential role in fulfilling the goals Civil Rights Movement. Black women have a close relationship with God (Ishakamusa 26). The significance of the church existed during slavery even before the great Martin Luther King was born. These African American churches still do pray the same way as they used to in the olden days, through spirits of ancestors coming deep within their souls. Due to the oppression, segregation, and rejection that the blacks received, they had nowhere to turn to but only God. Black women sang songs to bring hopes to the believers and improve their persistence in this quest. Additionally, through churches, black women could easily mobilize citizens to join the movement. They advocated for peace between one another and exercised their ability to lead from churches.

            Women represented half of the black’s population though they could not participate in the NAACP just as men did because court trials would not allow for female representation. It would not be easy because there were many few black and fewer female attorneys in the courtrooms (Chisholm 35). Secondly, qualifications for NAACP membership majorly catered for the middle class hence costs for participations was so high for black women to get involved in the group.         

            In conclusion, Black women gave the basic strength, created various concepts, and organized different activities throughout the Civil Rights Movement. They were known for propelling the resilience and helped in the struggle to pursue liberation and freedom. Due to their gender and race, they were minimized from having institutional powers that hindered their operation to some level. As others put it that women are organizers while men are leaders, women in the quench for Civil Rights assisted in organizing goals, conveying crucial information, they also mediated some conflicts, coordinated some of the activities. These are skills that women majorly got from how they led their families. This study shows that black women leaders were more trustworthy as compared than men due to the fact that women could not capitalize easily off their activities.

Works Cited

Crawford, Vicki L, Jacqueline A. Rouse, and Barbara Woods. Women in the Civil

            Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965., 1993.Print.

Collier-Thomas, Bettye, and V P. Franklin. Sisters in the Struggle: African

            American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement. New York:

            New York University Press, 2001. Print.

CHISHOLM, SHIRLEY. "Race, Revolution and Women." Black Scholar, vol. 42, no .2,

            Summer2012. Print

Ishakamusa Barashango. African woman the original guardian angel. Afrikan World Books; 1st

            Edition, 1989. Print

KING, HELEN H. "The Black Woman and Women's Lib." Ebony, vol. 26, no. 5,

            Mar. 1971, p. 68.




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 Black and other Racial Minority Voter Mobilization Strategies

            The United States has always been a picture of vibrant democracy which accords participation to all is citizens. However, the underlying numbers tell a different story. The gap between voter turnout is between the racial groups that form the US society. These minorities have been known to register dismal turnouts during elections. Minorities issues are different from those of the majority and they need to be championed by someone who understands them better. In major political circles, mobilizing Black voters and other minority voters is becoming important and more urgent. The key to appealing these minorities is putting real money into strategic engagement, spending time meeting with advocacy and organization groups representing interests of the Black voters.

 To increase the turnout of the minority voters including the Blacks, issues such as voter suppression and Gerrymandering that were rampant in many states such as; Georgia and South Carolina need to be addressed. Candidates who wants to win the votes of these minorities needs to make them feel that they can trust them when it comes to representing their issues. Black minority will likely turn up more when the candidate or his/her political associates are Black or when they feel that the candidate has their interest in mind and at heart. Candidates wishing to win the votes of the Black minority must address issues that appeal to this community; job equality and pay, criminal justice, and racism.

When it comes to winning other minorities such as the Latino community, candidates should focus on issues of immigration and bilingual education. Also, a candidate wishing to win the votes of these people need political allies from the community, these voters will be more inclined to turn up and vote when the candidate is one of them or the candidate is backed up by Latino politicians. To win the votes of the minority, candidates have to ensure that they address the voter’s turnout and the voting patterns of the different American racial societies, mostly the Black and White communities before the next election.



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