Growing Up with Black Skin
Black families are at a disadvantage when it comes to living in a dominantly white society, argues Marie Ferguson Peters, who goes on to observe that it is an extraordinary challenge for parents while raising children in a racist oriented society (Peters, 57). Blacks are devalued and they have decreased opportunities because of their racial identity (Peters, 57). Peter’s states, “Children in black families are ‘the most endangered children in our society…although our national creed insists that all children should have equal chances, from the start of the deck is systematically stacked against [Black children]’” (Peters, 58). Social racism is intrapersonal, and hatred is a basis for institutionalized racism.
In Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Hughes Not Without Laughter, and passages in Souls Looking Back, the struggles of African Americans are realistically portrayed in characters that go through traumatizing events while growing up in a place where blacks are seen as inferior to whites. These texts illustrate some of the major points in Peter’s essay: Constant exposure to racism leads to extreme environmental stress, blacks require more education than whites to be deemed successful, and whites can negatively influence individuals and make them want to change the way they live so they are not “associated” with the black population.
In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, there are many ways black lives are marginalized just because of the color of their skin. In Langston Hughes’s Not Without Laughter, the main character witnesses first hand how whites views of blacks are personal but society makes those views “normal”. The Souls Looking Back narrative explains how race is a social identity, and how blacks are inferior just because of color.
Just by being black, there is a lot of stress related with doing simple tasks. An ordinary business transaction, shopping excursion, or pleasure outing can suddenly be turned into a...