In America, there is a great racial division between people and it is evident without having to involve research. People will look at each other and pinpoint that someone’s complexion is foreign. They glance at each other on the streets and the looks on their faces automatically indicate presence of a racial divide or some form of insecurity.
This paper reviews different perspectives on the issue of ethnicity in African American ethnic group and compares the different cultural ethnical settings.
Although America is home for millions of foreigners, arguably all Americans have a trace from foreign land such as Africa, Asia or Europe. Ethnicity is an issue that bothers many and creates tension even among the settled Indigenous people who have been in their native land for ages. In line with Takaki’s writing on a “A different mirror” (54), the Native Americans were as a result of settlements by people of various ethnic groups such as Africans, pilgrims and Asians in the nineteen sixties. History would point out that some of the settlements were incidental such as Christopher Columbus mistaken landing at an Island in America, thinking it was Asia. African Americans often faces racism, for instance It is quite often to find people in the street inquiring about racial backgrounds indirectly by asking others where they come from, just as they would comfortably exchange some greeting lines with strangers. According to Takiki (57), African Americans face racial discrimination because Americans have the history of the past, which make them view America as “European in ancestry”. In the illusion of labelling people based on ethnical boundaries, people have built a concept that the definition of America is “white”.
However, today America has radically changed as evident at the leadership level. The reality has resided on people’s minds and racism is not ubiquitous as the majority can trace their background to other countries. People no longer judge others by their looks. We are all equal but this change has originated form a far end.
As per the history, Takaki indicated that African-Americans came to America back in 1619 as servants hired under an agreement but ended up as slaves. According to Takaki, slavery originated as a hidden agenda. The Americans were concern of racial significance but the consequences were evident during the nineteenth century when there was political debate over slavery. On a close reference to Takaki’s writing, African Americans must have been great contributors to the economy due to the labour force.
Although the debate almost drowned the nation, the issue of African Americans segregation was still evident through their civil rights associations to push for equal civil rights and social ranks. African Americans were actually the minority group but their struggle had a huge impact over the America’s social, political and moral vision for liberation. From his jail cell, Martin Luther king expressed his concern over freedom and fought for civil rights, which are evident of the America’s fate today. According to Takaki, this group has hugely contributed to America’s ethnical and racial diversity. One example of institutional discrimination illustrated in his writing include the cruelty one black man had to undergo of being denied lecture classes at Harvard Medical school due to complainers among his fellow students.
I feel proud to be Africa American because America is drastically changing from the original concept to an ethnicity. People have realized their sense of belonging and their nation. Perplexity has carried away most Americans such that their national identity and its future are more important.
There are more homogeneous united home with shared symbols and information and advocacy for unity and multicultural education as a way of raising competence. Racial diversity is also allowing people to include different groups’ viewpoint and understanding.
There is ample need for the existing ethnical groups to develop a way of learning, understanding, appreciation and accepting each other’s ethnic group. This would involve the culture, history and economic background. This is also a way of gathering information in pursuit for an accurate history. In line with Lewis et al (4), the future of America with regard to ethnicity depends on value for image.
Lewis, Peter, Etannibi Alemika, and Michael Bratton.
Down to Earth: Changes in Attitudes toward Democracy and Markets in Nigeria, Lagos: AFROBAROMETER & USAID.2002. Takaki, Ronald.
A different Mirror: a History of Multicultural America. Britain: Back Bay and Co. 2008