“What It’s Like “
The difference between races and ethnicity has been an ongoing issue of discrimination over many years. The confrontations of the societies over the years has lessened, but there is still a diversity out there that needs to be addressed. In the first literary example, “What It’s Like to be a Black Girl,” by Patricia Smith, the main subject is a young woman and the issues she faces being an African American growing up in a Caucasian society while the other, “Young Country,” by Nadine Gordimer, is about another African American woman falling in love with a Caucasian man. These stories have a deep rooted meaning to me as I am the mother of 3 mixed race daughters and was married to an African American man.
In “What It’s Like to be a Black Girl,” by Patricia Smith (1991) the young girl does not see herself as being complete. She looks at herself in the mirror and prays for a different view. A girl with different eyes, different hair and different skin. She wants to see someone else. This is an internal battle of self. “Like there’s something, everything, wrong, it’s dropping food coloring in your eyes to make them blue and suffering their burn in silence.” (Smith)
In order to understand racism that this young lady is experiencing and its effects on minorities, we must first understand what race/racism; prejudice, discrimination and ethnicity are since many people use these behaviors interchangeably to mean the same thing. One of the main things that I see is that this girl feels pain and suffering while having courage at the same time. She is changing, is this due to puberty that has set in and she is feeling gawky and uncoordinated as well as the kinky hair and the brown of her eyes?
“It’s popping a bleached white mop head over the kinks of your hair and primping in front of the mirrors that deny your reflection.” (Smith) The food coloring in her eyes, and the bleaching of her hair can only symbolize her need to grow into the...