Black and Latinos in America Essay

This essay has a total of 1068 words and 5 pages.

Black and Latinos in America

Forming Identities in the White Man's World
Through our readings of the Mexicans in the U.S. and the African-American experience
modules, we begin to understand the formation of identity through the hardships minorities
faced from discrimination. In this paper, I am going to compare and contrast the ideas of
identity shown through the readings. These two modules exemplify the theme of identity. We
see how Blacks and Latinos tried to find their identity both personally and as a culture
through the forced lifestyles they had to live.

Identity is one of the main questions throughout all of our readings, because it is hard
for people to accept who they are in society. Accepting their identity as a minority with
little if any freedoms sparks many of the social problems which I will show happening in
all communities and cultures. The main issue we will discuss is how social environments
effect the search for identity. The Mexicans in the U.S. module gives us examples how
Mexicans try to keep their customs while living in a discriminated environment by the
Whites. This module also gives us examples how people are searching for personal identity
while struggling with cultural traditions. Finally, the African-American module gives us
more examples to compare with the Mexicans in the U.S. module, because these readings deal
with Blacks finding personal identity also through discrimination from the Whites. To
properly understand the theme of identity, we must first look the factors influencing it.

The first influence we see in both modules is discrimination. The Whites as a whole did
not give any acceptance towards both cultures. There were several barriers keeping the
Blacks and Mexicans from breaking the lines between them and the Whites. First, the Whites
saw both groups of people as minorities. They felt both subcultures were unequal from the
beginning, therefore holding discriminating beliefs about the cultures from which both
groups came from. Also, the Whites were very angry with these groups, who were trying to
share the same freedoms.

Next, both the Blacks and Mexicans lived through their cultures and traditions from
ancestors. It was very hard for either group to compete with the Whites' economy and
lifestyles while keeping their beliefs strong. Now that we have an understanding of the
influences on both groups' identity struggles, we will begin the discussion of identity
with the Mexicans in the U.S. module.

The Mexicans in U.S. modules gives many examples how strong cultural pasts lead to
identity problems in a new society. Also, the module shows us that many Mexicans were not
happy with the stereotype formed about their identity. In Between the Lines, we see how
Mexicans in America suffer through harsh discrimination, while trying to stay close to
their relatives and culture. The letters talk about how Whites did not have concerns with
family values or cultural beliefs. Whites based many of their values off succeeding in the
economy. Whites in general had no regard for Mexicans as people.

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