Race, Class, and Culture

Toccara Townsend 12-2-2008 SBS 318 Critical Essay #2 Does being born connected to a certain race, class and culture define you as a person and the way you should or shouldn’t live your life. Does being in a certain class make you have class? In the paper I plan to give examples of how race, class and culture affected the African American culture. Growing up you always heard your family members speak of making sure you get an education or that education was the key to your success. It gave children the impression that without education you wouldn’t or couldn’t have a bright future.

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So the question is, because a child decides to further his/her education and/or move from where they have grew up does that put them in another class from the others that didn’t have the same opportunity or want the same things in life. In the article “Our kind of people, by Graham Lawrence” it speaks about how you find pride and quilt in the black elite. Basically there are some that strive for greatness and in the same token want to come back and help those that was less fortunate, but then on the other hand you have those that take on the superiority attitude, who feel embarrassed of their less accomplished brethren. page 197) In the Black community we have some the most talented, educated, and accomplished people that are considered role models but because of their smug and prejudiced attitude you would never know. Families were under the impression in 1938 that in order for their kids to meet some role models that had to be secluded in a particular organization called the Jack and Jill school/chapter. Jack and Jill was an organization where families of black professionals had there children attend.

Shirley Barber James stated that the real reason why parents insisted that their kids grew up in Jack and Jill is because of the social and educational benefits (page 199). That no matter if your kid went to a private school she still couldn’t guarantee they would meet a black role model, but Jack and Jill was able to make that happen (Page 199). No matter how much the Black family wanted to believe that the kids were at a better place they still had to deal with racial profile from other white families/kids within the community.

In the Mis-Education of the Negro it was clear that because of the race, class and culture education wasn’t offered to the Blacks like it was to the Whites. The Blacks had education but the structure of the education was different. Many Negro’s felt that all institutions regardless of race, class, or culture should have the same education and advantage as the White students have (page 254). Because slavery was such a prominent role in the Black race and many felt in order to be educated a black person had to teach them because they would know their struggle.

But Woodson Carter, states that “We should not take the position that a qualified white person should not teach in a negro school. Their shouldn’t be any objection to such services cause a white person can teach just as a Black person could. Woodson Carter believed that there should be an interracial teaching at all schools (page 255) In the Education of the Black Bourgeoisie, money was a huge significance with the Black families.

The Negro’s were no longer devoted to the aspects of Education but more to the ideal that having money put you in another bracket or place away from other people. It gave the idea that if you had money then you were considered to be in the middle class status. As Franklin Frazier stated, “that Negro higher education has become devoted chiefly to the task of educating the black bourgeoisie (page 169). During this time they based money for the means of getting what they needed.

As I stated in the above paragraphs I was going to try and break down different articles in the text that dealt on race, class, and culture. So the question is can you be born with class and not into necessary have the class that comes. It’s clear from all the reading that money does not define who you are. Yes it may give you a more respectful title but at the end of the day the lack of knowledge is what is needed to succeeded in this world. Many children grow wit the notion of being better than because of what they were born into.

I believe that race, class, and culture are all labels that are placed on us by society. So in order for our kids and children to not be face with stereotypes that are placed on them from society that have to try to live the best life they can live, strive for excellence, and always remember that money does not define who you are it the values and morals that you carry with you. Cite Page 1. Our kind of people, by Graham Lawrence” (pages 197-199) 2. The Mis Education of the Negro, Shirley Walker (pages 254-255) 3. The Black Bourgeoisie , Franklin Frazier (pages 169)

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