Steretypes

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December 11, 2011
To Whom It May Concern,

First off, Chicago portrays discrimination and stereotypes against African Americans. Have you ever stopped and thought about how you and I, as individuals, play a role with continuing to listen and play along with the stereotypes? It is our duty as constituents to make a change against African Americans’ stereotypes. We were the past, we are the present, and we will be the future. I know that many people have already said this phrase many times but if we want to have a better future, our time is now. I would like to state that the Southside is just one example of how an ethnic group is discriminated against. The truth that we cannot deny is that African Americans are stereotyped against because they are seen as people who live in the area of the “ghetto in the city. The other most typical situation of stereotype is seen with African Americans’ appearance which will be discussed further in the essay. Why is this? That is why I am here to tell you that these stereotypes do not have to exist because we can take a stand to stop them.

To begin, “The African-American ghetto is a creation of the twentieth century. The golden age of Northern black-white relations lies in the period before 1900, write Allan Spear and Kenneth Kusmer, historians of the Midwestern ghettos. Blacks at the time were not generally restricted from using public facilities, and they lived in much more integrated communities than their descendants do today” (Glaeser). This means that African Americans live in the ghetto area, but why is this? The definition of ghetto is a part of a city, especially a slum area, occupied by a minority group or groups. African Americans as the main case have tolerated the media when it created an image or more of a stereotype about them by saying that they lived in poor and rural areas. As demonstrated, the movie “Freedom Writers” is popular for giving a good message to change our thoughts about such stereotypes. The plot consists of specifically, a white protagonist, known as Ms. Gruwell, who teaches at Woodrow Wilson High School?to students who are African Americans and Latinos. Looking more at the African Americans, some of them believe that they will be lucky to graduate or even be literate because they come from a “ghetto area”. The African American students are seen to be in gangs and almost all of them know somebody that has been killed by a gang member or in a violent act. The teacher therefore tries to help them out by showing the African American kids that gang violence is bad and that they live in the side of the “ghetto area”. The good part that comes out of this, which is my other point besides showing that there are stereotypes against African Americans, is that there can be a way out of the dark tunnel. The teacher, Ms. Gruwell, explains to the students that they can truly get out of the ghetto area and take a look at the education provided to them so that one day they can become something far better than what they believed they could be.

Moreover, African Americans are stereotyped against what they wear. One type of clothing that African Americans are stereotyped and concerned against is the baggy pants. It is the way of African Americans or any other person to live the way that they want to, and no one should be able to tell African Americans what to or what not to wear. In movies like “Step up “1, 2, and 3, the male characters usually have a belt on with their pants below their waist. Also, in the “Fast and the Furious” movies, the male characters usually have their pants below their waist. Baggy Pants is referred to as pants that are just a couple sizes bigger and slid lower than the waist while the underwear of one shows. “This actually started in the early 1980's by?African American shoplifters to allow more room to store stolen items in. The act of baggy pants was "copied" by the wigger?community without knowing the meaning.?Strangely enough ?African American- gang members do not wear them during street fights. “Having your pants at your knees limits mobility” (Urban DictionaryBy taking all of this information in, African Americans should be living freely without being judged or categorized against.

Sincerely,

Ramsha K





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raindance72 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm
I found that this was well written. I think you could have used more of your own voice, and the editing boo-boos throughout can distract. To be honest I only clicked on it because the title has a typo in it (the o in stereOtype is not present). The first part of the essay was good but the last part is rather messy in editing. I don't know if this is TeenInk messing with you (has happened to me with quotations) or what, but do watch out for it. A typo in the title is a pretty unforgivable mistake.
 
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