Civil rights, race relations, racism, America, Countee Cullen, Brent Staples, Martin Luther King Jr, nigger
It seems as if in America there is always some kind of race-related strain. There are various incidents of racism that makes a person wonder about the state of our society, not only in the past but throughout the twentieth century. Many literary works have been written in respect to race relations and the civil rights movement that try to work towards a peaceful co-existence. To some degree it has worked, however at times many people may wonder if any real progress is being made.
[...] We come to think that we have come a long way since the days of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement by in 2005 the same thing happened in the same exact neighborhood in Queens, “mere blocks from the site of a 1986 attack in which a group of about a dozen white men set upon three black men whose car broke down” (NY Times). A group of white men drove around late one night trying to find the black men who they cursed at earlier that day, when they finally found them they started to chase them down. [...]
[...] Even the end of each stanza has meaning. The first stanza ends with which describes the author, the second with which describes the event, and the third with “remember.” All these words are important and are the key to each stanza. This whole poem seems shocking when read through, and like the power, it becomes more shocking with each stanza until the reader is almost offended himself. Even the setting of Baltimore is significant since it is in Maryland, which is a border state between the north and south, which because of the civil war, there would be more prejudice towards African Americans in the south. [...]
[...] Bibliography Albergotti, Reed, Thomas Zambito, and Marsha Schrager. "Racism Comes Home: the Howard Beach Case." The Queens Spin O'donnell, Michelle, and William Rashbaum. "White Men Attacked 4 Black Men in Howard Beach Hate Crime, the Police Say." New York Times 30 June "Countee Cullen." Wikipedia.Org . [...]
[...] We are taking steps in the right direction of course, we are punishing those people who commit hate crimes more severely to serve as an example of things that would not be tolerated, but we also have to change the way we think. We can't just condemn these kinds of things while trying to people. We have to make sure that everyone realizes the importance of all people, and that we want the same things in life. If we did this, then maybe we would really come a long way with civil rights. [...]
[...] It also seems as if it has been getting worse and worse. In Cullen's poem, the Baltimorean simply calls the author an ugly word, but does not commit any crime, no matter how evil his words were. During Staples' night walks people are afraid of him and try to avoid him, and he tries to be careful. But during the last few years it seems as if it have been becoming more extreme since people are beating innocent people based on the color of their skin. [...]
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