Introduction to the Humanities
Title: Journal 6 – Minority Opportunity
Started: March 7, 2012 9:23 PM
Submitted: March 7, 2012 10:18 PM
Discuss at least 6 consequences that minority status has on one’s opportunities, using supporting quotations and page references from at least 3 of the texts assigned for readings in this theme.
Student Response: Blacks were not allowed to go to the library and check out books. (from Black Boy p.597) Blacks were not allowed to play at the parks or playgrounds. (Black Boy P. 597) In “Black Boy” page 601, he says, “I had no hope whatever of being a professional man. Not only had I been so conditioned that I did not desire it, but the fulfillment of such an ambition was beyond my capabilities. Well-to-do Negroes lived in a world that was almost as alien to me as the world inhabited by whites.” In “Graduation” page 612 it states that unlike the white school, their school had no lawn, hedges or tennis court or climbing ivy. There was a baseball diamond that was also used as a basketball court with rusty hoops on swaying poles. On page 657 in “Jorge the Church Janitor Finally Quits”, He states that no one asks where he is from. He feels taken for granted. No one knows how to say his name or cares about his name when something goes wrong. “No one knows that I quit tonight.” On page 656 in “Tony Went To the Bodega”, Tony’s father left the family and Tony was 9 years old and had to find work. The abuelas (grandmothers) had to buy on credit.
Comments: Be sure to specifically state in all your examples what the consequences of minority status are that are being illustrated.
After watching the slideshow that discusses the checks on minority opportunity and the converse of white privilege and the materials on inequities, I want you to discuss:
(if you are white) in what ways you can see that have benefited from white privilege or received opportunities often denied to minorities.
(if you are not white) in what ways you have been negatively affected by white privilege or denied opportunity
[Be sure to be specific. Remember, I am not looking for diatribes or mere opinions here, but considered self-reflection using the materials and ideas of the course as your base.]
Student Response: I can see that because I am white and come from a white family, that I was born into a world of better opportunities. I can understand and relate to the situation of white families having more assets mainly due to the fact that more white families own their own homes. My parents have lived in a home that they own but are still paying on. They have lived there for 33 years. My wife’s parents also owned their home, and her dad actually paid off the mortgage early around 20 years. My wife and I bought our first home in 2001. Although I feel that our biggest advantage to being able to get a home was my affiliation with the military and being able to get a VA loan, I can now see that we took for granted how easy it was to come to own a home. I feel like my wife and I grew up in a safe and nice area. We were kind of in the middle where we had higher income families above us and lower income families below us. (East & West) The higher income families felt that they were too good for us and the lower income families felt like we thought we were too good for them. I feel like I had access to a great education and our area was low in crime. Our town started out small,but grew fast and we were soon surrounded by supermarkets, and other shops with plenty to see and do.
Comments: Good insights. Awareness of one’s privileges is just the first step. Now what do we do with that awareness? I want you to now use this knowledge you have learned about the inequalities of our society and continually reflectively think about what you can do personally to help change things or make a difference. Even if it seems one’s contribution is small, I believe there is much that we each individually can do to raise awareness, act more compassionately to others less fortunate and who still may suffer under discrimination, and many other things.
What have you learned this week that you didn’t know before?
Student Response: I have learned this week that even in the 1940s blacks were still at a huge disadvantage. They still couldn’t go to the library or parks. I didn’t realize that even recently blacks still have less opportunities for example, with housing loans. I didn’t realize that Blacks had less assets and that basically it’s a generation thing and as wealth is usually passed down for whites, poverty is usually passed down for blacks. I have reflected back this week on the black people I have worked with in the military. I realized that the majority had the opportunity to obtain military housing or use their VA loan to buy a home. Yet, they didn’t. They continued to rent and live in lower income apartments. I’d imagine that it was a mindset passed down from their parents and previous generations. I thought it was like the character in “Black Boy” and how he couldn’t be a professional man and that he was conditioned to not even want to be one.
-Why did you pick this assignment to put in your ePortfolio? What does it demonstrate about your learning?
I picked this assignment because I feel I did well on it and understood it the most out of all of the assignments. It opened my eyes to what minorities are still having to deal with. My learning and understanding was based on what I knew and grew up with. Through this course, and particularly this assignment, I have been able to expand and grow.