Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Internalized racism

From the beginning of slavery to present day, many african-americans have struggled with internalized racism.  This internalized racism stems from the ideology of white supremacy.  In the following paragraphs I will discuss how internalzied racism affected the late Malcolm X as well as my very own family.
Malcolm X came from a family that endured a lot of discrimination .  This was primarily due to his fathers affiliation with Marcus Garvey.  Malcolm X father, Reverand Earl Little, was one of the organizer for Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.) (Malcolm X pg. 1).  The main idea behind Reverand littes Speech was that black people should move ba ck to africa.  That idea did not sit very well with a lot of whtie people as well as other african-americans.  As a result of this the family moved to various states.
As much as Malcolm X father taught and believed in black empowerment, he himself had seemed to be subconsciously  brainwashed by the idea of white supremacy (Malcolm X pg. 4).  Malcolm X came to beleieve this about his father based on his recollection of the way he treated compared to his other siblings.  Reverand Littele showed favoritism to Malcolm X because he was of a lighter complexion.  Malcolm describes his dad as beligerent towards his siblings (Malcolm X pg.4).
Based on Malcolm X childhood with his dad, it is of no surprise that Malcolm X himself would later grow up to find a sense of pride in his lighter complexion.  Malcolm X explains how he among other african-americans at that time considered their lighter skin to be some kind of status symbol (Malcolm X pg. 3).
Malcolm X soon came to realize that this belief of status came directly from the undeniable better treatment from black parents towards their lighter skinned children (Malcolm X pg.4).  This is and was the issue in many black homes throughout the world.
My Grandmother was one of five children.  My grandmother was also a fraternal twin.  May grandma and her twin happened to look completely different from one another.  My Grand mother also happened to be the darkiest of the children.  Even though her mother was very dark skinned as well, she instinctively treated my grandmother poorly as compared to her siblings.  Interestingly enough, when my grandmother got married and had her kids, her mom came to favor those grandkids over the others.  This was due to the fact that many of my grandmas kids were lighter complexion than the other grandchildren.
From my own experience it is quite clear that internalized racism remains to be an issue in todays society.  Hopefully with more classes about rich african heritage, more people can learn to accept themselves for who they are.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jamila - Really great post with specific examples from both the text and your experience - but see if you can use these informal posts to break out of the 5 paragraph formula structure you have here - are there other ways to introduce/link your ideas?