Skip to content

Why are all the Black Kids sitting together in the Cafeteria- Beverly Daniel Tatum

July 14, 2010

Summary

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black youth seated together in the cafeteria. Of course, it’s not just the Black kids sitting together–the White, Latino, Asian Pacific, and in some regions, American Indian youth, are clustered in their own groups, too. The same phenomenon can be observed in college dining halls, faculty lounges, and in corporate cafeterias.

What is going on here? Is this self-segregation a problem we should try to fix, or a coping strategy we should support? How can we get past our reluctance to talk about racial issues to even discuss it? And what about the other question we and our children have about race?

Beverly Daniel Tatum is a renowned authority on the psychology on racism. She asserts that we do not know how to talk about our racial differences. Whites are afraid of using the wrong words and being perceived as “racist.” Parents of color are afraid of exposing their children to painful racial realities too soon. Tatum understands that the vocabulary of race is loaded and that embarrassment and awkwardness often stymie conversations about this subject; yet, she believes that these obstacles can and must be overcome if we are to bring about change.

In “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race, Dr. Tatum provides us with a new way of thinking and talking about race through the lens of racial identity. She explains that all of us have a racial identity and must strive to affirm it. For people of color, the development of a constructive racial identity requires being able to recognize and reject the bombardments of negative stereotypes and to embrace a history of resistance and empowerment rather than passive victimization. For Whites, the challenge is to engage in a process of racial identity development which leads to an awareness of White privilege and a determination to actively work against injustice–and this requires the strength to reject a system that rewards them, and to reclaim the legacy of White allies. For many, this is uncharted territory. This book provides a road map for those who want to make the journey better understand the racial dynamics of their daily lives.

Tatum extends her ideas about racial identity development beyond the usual Black-White paradigm to embrace the unique circumstances of Latinos, American Indians, Asians, as well as biracial youth. Also included is a list of resources for further reading as well as a list of books for parents and teachers to recommend to children of all ages.

Using real-life examples and the latest research, Tatum presents strong evidence that straight talk about our racial identities–whatever they may be–is essential if we are serious about facilitating communication across racial and ethnic divides. We have waited far too long to begin our conversations about race. This remarkable book, infused with great wisdom and humanity, tells us where to start.
“I made a difference to that one”

This group of chilfren , almost all of whm were White, did not live newa a large Native American population and probably had had little if any personal interatction with American Indians, they all had internalized an image of what Indians were like. Cartoon images, Peter Pan
Prejudice is a preconceived judgement or opinion, usuallybased on limited info <?php the_excerpt(); ?>

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

http://www.case.edu/president/aaction/UnpackingTheKnapsack.pdf

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/moneymag_archive/1989/12/01/85518/index.htm

“Can people of color be racist?”- If one defines racism as racial prejudices, te answer is yes. people of color can and do have racial prejudices. If one defines racism as a system of advantage based on race , the answer is no.

WHen i ash White men and women how racism hurts them, they frequently talk about their fears of pp of color, the social imcompetence they feel in racially mixed situations. the alienation they have experienced between parents and children when a child marries into a family of color and the interracial friendships they had as children that were lost in adolescence or young adulthook without their ever understanding why

“pp of color” includes pp of African, Asia, Latin American descent, indigenous pp. Many pp refer to theses groups as non-Whites. This term is offensive becasue it defines groups of pp in terms of what they are not. Do we call women “non-men”
“minorities” represent the mahortiyof the world’s population
White pp have color too, perhaps it would be more accurate to say “pp of more color”

“Who I AM” game. Common across theses examples is that in the areas where a person is a member of the dominant or dadvantaged social group , the category is usually not mentioned, that element of their identity is so taken for granted by themthat it goes without comment. it is taken for granted by them because it is taken for granted by the dominant culture. in Eriksoniam terms, their inner experience and outer circumstance are in harmony with one another, and the image reflected by others is similiart to the image within. in the absensce of dissonance, this dimension of identity escaptes conscious attention

dominant groups set the parameters within which the subordiantes operate. the doinant group holds the power and authority in society relative to the subordinates and determines how that power and authority may be acceptably used. whether it is reflected in determining who gets the best jobs, whose history will be taught in school , or whose relationnships will be validated by society, the dominant group has the greatest influece in determining the structure of the society

when a subdorinate demonstrates positive qualities believed to be more characteristic of dominants, the individual is defined by dominants as an anomaly

in a situation of unequal power, a subordiate group has to focus on survival. it becomes very important for the subordinates to become highly attuned to the dominants as a way of protecting themselves from the, . eg, women who have been battered by men often talk about the heightened sensitivity they develop to their parners’ moods. being able to anticipate and avoid the men;s rage is important to survive. survival sometimes means not responding to oppressive behavior directlly. to do so could result in physical harm to oneself, even death

attending closely to hte dominant roup may leave little time or enetrrgy to attend toone’s self. worse yet, the negative messages of the domminant group about thesubordinates may be internalized, leading to self-doubt, even self- hate. eg, when subordinates attempt tomake themselves over in the image ofthe dominant group

THE EARLY YEARS- “ IS MYSKIN BROWN BECAUSE I DRINK CHOCOLATE MILK?”

“whhy dont theymatch Mommmy?”- “They dont have to match. sometimes parents and kids match, and somteimtes they dont”

“your skin is brown because you have something in you sking called melannin. Melanin is very important because it helps protect your skin from the sun. Eddie has melanininhis skin, too. remember when Eddie went to Florida on vacation and came back showing everybody histan? it was the  melanin iin his skin that made it get darker. everybodyhasmelanin, you know. but some pp have more than others. at your school, you are the kid with the most!”. Jonathan seemed to understand the idea and smiled at the thought that he was the child with the most of somtething. i wanted to affirm he is a handsome brown skin child, that how much i liked the color of his skin, i wanted to counter the implication of Eddi’s question, that there was perhaps something wrong with brown skin, the result of “too much “ chocolate milk
Thisprocess of affirmation was notnew. Since infancy i had talked about how much i liked his smooth brown skin and those little curlswheever i bathed him or brushed his hair, i searched for children’s books depicting brown-skinned children. when John was 1 year old, we gave him a large brown rag doll, complaete with curly black hair made of yarn. Especially because we have lived in predominantly White communities since his birth, i felt it was importanttomake sure he saw himselfreflected positively in as many ways as possible.

“I love pancakes. They are brown, just like me”, “those eggs were not all the same color”- “yes, they do have different shells. but look at theinsides, they are the same. Pp are the same way. they look different on the outside, but that are the sameon the inside”

Eddie’s resoning was first-rate for a 3 year old. the fact that he was asking about John’s skin, rather than speculating about his own, reflected that he had already internalized “Whiteness” as the norm, which it was in that school. his question did not reflect prejudice in an adult sense, but it did reveal confusion. his theory was flawed, and he needed somehelp

“that little girl is not dirty. her skin is as clean as yurs. it is just a different skin colors.” Perhaps afraid of saying the wrong thing, many parents dont offer an ecplanation. they stop at “Ssh”, silencing the child but not responding to the question or the reasoning underlying it. children who have been silenced often ehough learn notto talkabout race publicly. their qyestions dont go away, they just go unasked

Tohn told me that someone atschool had said he was Black.
“Am I Black?’
“Yes you are”
‘but my skin is brown’
‘yes yourskiin is brown, but black is a term that pp use to describe African Americans, just like White is used to describe pp who came from Europe. it is a little confusing because Black pp are not really the color black, but different shadesof brown”

the nature of Blaack- White race relationsin US have been forever shaped by slavery andits social , psychological, and economic legacies. it requires dicusttion ,. but how does one talk to a 4 year old about this legacy of cruelty and injustice? I knew his preschool had discussed the colonialdays when Europeans first came to these shores. i remindedhimofthis and said
“A long time ago before there were grocery stores and roads and houses here, the EU came. and they wanted tobild roads and houses and grocery stores here, but it was going to be a lot of workthey needed a lot of really good, strong,smart workers to cut down trees, and build roads,a ndwork on farms and theydid nothave enough. so they went to Africato get thestrongest, smartest workers they could find. Unfortunately they did not eantto pay the,. so they kidnappped them andbrought them here asslaves. they made them work and did not pay them. that was really unfair”
Even as i told this story i was aware of 3 things
- i did not want to frighten this 4 year old whomight worry that these things would happpen to him ( a characteristic of 4 year old thinking)
- i wanted him to know that his African ancestorswere not just passive victims, but had foound ways toresist theirvictimization
- i did notwant him to thinkthatall White pp were bad. it is possible tohave White allies. so i continued
“now this was a long time ago. you were never a slave. i was never a slave,as well Grandmommy. The Africans who were kidnapped did whatever they could to escape. but soetimes theEU had gus andd the Africans did not, so it was hard toget away. butsome even jumped off the boats into the ocean to try to escape. there were slave rebellions,and many of the africans were able to escape to freedom after they got here, and worked tohelp otehr slaves get free. now, even though some White pp were kidnapping africans and making them work without pay, other white pp thought that this was very unfair, which it was. andthose white pp worked along with the black pp to bring an end to slavery. so not it is against the law tohave slaves”
“well, when they were not slaves anymore, why did not they go back to Africa”
“well, some did. but others might bot have beenabletobecuase they did not have enough money, and besides that, by then they had familiesand freinds who were living here and theymight have wanted to stay”
“Andthis is a nice place too”
“Yes it is”

I still remember the oohs and ahs of my white elementary sschool classmates wheni arrived at schoolfor”picture day” with my long mane of dark hair. with the micracle of a hot comb, my mother had transformed my ordinary braids into what i thought was aaglamorous cascade ofcurls. i received many compliments that day. the truth is i looked pretty everyday, but a clear message was being sent bboth at home and at school about what real beauty was

decorating one’ s home with photographs of family and frieds who represent a range of skin tones and hair textures is one way to begin to fill this representational gap

reading thse volumes againwith JOhn, i had a new perception ofthem: how sexiest they seemed tobe.2 girls seemed to spend most of their time on these cooking and cleaning and setting up house while thye bboys fished, paddled the canoe, and made the important discoveries. after reading several pagesof this together, i asked if he knew what secism was. he did not, so i explained that it was when girls were treated differently than bous just becasue they were girls. i said that the girls in this story werebeing treated differently than the bous, and i pointedoutsome examples and sicusssed the unfairness ofit. Hogn wanted to continue the story,and i agreeed that we could finish it, despite my new perception. what pelased and surprised me as we continued to read was that Hogn began to spot the gender bias himself “mon, there is that stuff again”. learning to spot “ that stuff”, whether it is racist, sexist, or classist, is important skill for children to develop.we are better able to resist the negative impact of oprresive messgages when we see them coming than when they incisible to us. while some may think it is a burden to chidlren to encourage this critical consousness, i consider it a gift. Educator Janie Ward calls this child- rearing process “raising resisters”

I drove past a Black teenager running down thr street “ Why is that boy running”
“I dont know”
“May be he stole something”
I nearly slammed on the brakes “Why would you say something like that”
“Well you knoe in the city , there is a lot  of crime, and pp steal thing”. he did not say “Blckpp” but i knew the cultural imaages to whihc he was responding. I point out that we had never personally experienced any crime in that locationl. in fact the one time my car stero was stolen was when it was parked in a “good neighborhood” in our own small town. I asked my son to imagine why he, also a Black Bou. mightbe running down the street- in a hurry to get home, late for a bus, on his way to a job at the McDonald up the street. Then we talked about stereotyping and the images of urban Black boys we see on TV and elsewhere. too often they are portrayed as muggers, drug dealers, or other criminals. But not onnly do children need to be able to revodnize distorted representations, they also need to know what can be done about them.. elarning to recognize cultural and institutional racismand other forms of inequity without also learning strtegiies to respond to them is a prescription for despair.

the resource book “Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children.” include many eg of young children learning to recognize and speak up against unfairness”
“for children to feel good and confident about themselves, thye need to be able to say “that is not fair” or “I dont like that” if theyare the target of prejudice or discrimination. for children to develop empathy and respect for diversity, they neeed to be able to say “ i dont like what you are doing” to a child who is abusing another child. if we teach children to revognize injustice, then wae must also teach them that pp can create positive change by working together. through activism activities children build the confidence andskills for becoming adults who assert in the face of injustice, “i have the responsibility to deal with it, i know how to deal with it, i will deal with it”

IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT IN ADOLESCENCE- “why are all the Black kids sitting together inthe cafeteria?”
even in schoolswhere the same children stay together from kindergarten thoguh 8th grade, racial grouping begins by the 6 or7th grade. what happens?

puberty: as children enter adolescence, they begin to explore the question of identity, asking “who i am, who can i be” in ways they have not done before. they become more self-conscious about their appearance and more concerned about what their peers think

4 identity “statuses” to characterize the variation in the identity search process

- diffuse: a state in whcih there has been littleexploration or active consideration of a particular domain, and no psychological commitment
- foreclosed: a state in which a commmitment has been made to particular roles or belief systems, often those selected by parents, without actively considering alternatives
- moratorium: a state of active exploration of roles and beliefs in which no commitment has yet been made
- achieved: a state of strong personal commitment to a particular dimension of identity following a period of high exploration

Why do Black youths think about themselves in terms of race? Becasue that is how the restof the world thinks of them. our self-perceptions are shped by the messages that we receive from those around us, and when young Blackmen and women enteradolescence, the racial content of those messages intensifies.
eg, my 10 year old son, when asked to describe hiimself, why would he likelymention his height and nothis racial group membership? Because when David meets new adults, one of the first questions they ask is “How old are you?” When David states his age, the inevitable reply is “Gee, you are tall for your age”
Now imagine, he is 15 year old now. earing the adolescent attire of the day , passing adults he does not know on the sidewalk and the women hold their purses a little tighter. What would he describe himself now

according to Cross’s model, referred to as the psychology of nigrescence, or the psychology of becoming Black, 5 stages of racial identity development are pre-encounterr, encounter, immersion/emmersion, internalization, internalization- commitment. the first 2 stages are the most relevant for adolescents

in the first stage, around age 10, the Black child absorns many of the belief and values of theh dominant White culture, including the idea that it is better to be White. If Black parents are what i call race- conscious,a ctively seeking to encourage posittive racial identity by providing their children with positive cultural images and messagesa bout what it meansto be Black, the impact of the dominant society;smessages are reduced. In this stage the personal and socialsignificance of one’s racial group membership has not yet been realized, and racial identity is not yet under examination

transition to the encounter stage is typically precipitated by an event or series of events that force the young person to acknowledge the perrsonal impact of racism. as the result of a new and heitened awareness of the significance of race, the induvidual begins to grapple with what it means to be a memeber of a group targeted by racism.
Puberty raisesanxiety about interracial dating.in racially mixed communities you beggin to see what i call the birthday party effect. young children ‘s birthday parties in multiracial communities are often a reflection fo the community’s diversity. the parties of elementary school children may be segregaated by gender but not by race. at puberty, when the aprties become sleepovers or boy-girl events, they become less and less raciallydiverse
Black girls in predominantly White commmunities, may gradually become aware that somethinghas changed. when their white friend start to date, they do not. the issues of emerging secuality and the socital messages about who is sexually desirableleave young Black women in a very devalued posotion.
Black girls living in the context of a larger Black community may have more social choices. they too have to contend with devaluing messages about who they are and who they will become, especially if they are poor or working class
Black boys, in the context of predominantly White, may enjoy a degree of social success, particularlyif they are athletically talented. but they also face devalued status with the meida image of a young Black man with his hands cuffed.

what do these encounters have to do with the cafeteria? do experieces with racism inevitable result in so-caled self – segregation? whille certainly a desire to protect oneself from further offense isunderstandablee, it is not the only factor at work. imagine the young 8th grade girl who experienced the teacher’s use of “You People” and the dancing sterotype as a racial ffront. Upset and struggling with adolescent embarrassmen, she bumps into a White friend who can she something wrong. she explains. Her White friend respongs in an effort to make her fee better perhaps, “Oh Mr Smithis such a nice guy, i am sure he did not meanit like that. dont be so sensitive”. Perhaps the White friend is tight, and Mr Smith did not mean it, but imagine your own response when you are upset. your partner brushed off your complaint, attributing it to your being oversensitive. what happens to your emotional thermostat? It escalates. when feelings, rational or irrational, are invalidated m, most pp disengage. they not only choose to discontinue the conversation but are more likely to turn to someone who willl understand their perspective. the Black students turnto each other for the much needed support they are not likely to find anywhere else. “You know what, Mr Smith said the same thing to me yesterday!” Joining with one’s peers for support inthe faceof stressis a positive coping strategy. what is problematic is thatthe oung pp are operating with a very limited denition of what it means to be Black, based
largerly on cultural stereotypes

in adolescfence, the young person whose racial identity developmentis out of synch with this or her peers often feels in an awkward position. Adolescents are notoriously egocentric and assume that their experience is the same as everyone else’s. just as girls who have become interested inboys become disdainful of their friends still interested indolls, the Blacck teens who are at the table can be quire judgemental toward those who are not “If i think it is a sign of authentic Blackness to sit at this table, then you should too”

the young back men and women who still hand around with their White mates they have known since early childhood often being snubbed bytheir Black peers. this dynamic is apparent in regional schools where children from a variety ofneigborhoods are brought together. when Black children from predominantly White neighborhoods go to school with Black children from predominantly Black neighborhoods, the former group is often viewed as tryingto be White bylatter group. Racial tenstions also affected Terri relationships with White students. Only when a teacher helped her out by getting her involved in singing gospel music and introducing her toother Black Students who could accepther , that “really exposed me to the good Black community because i was so down on it. that is when i started havingn other Black friends”. The teacher recognized Terri ‘s need for a same – race peer group and helped her find one. talking ro groups of Black studentsabout the variety of living situationsBlack pp come from and the unique situation facing Balckadolescents in White communites helpstoexpand the definition of what itmeans tobe Black and increaseintragroup acceptance at a time when that is quite important .

for youngpp living in predominantly Black communities, such connections occur spintaneously with neighbors and classmates and usually do not require special encouraagement. Hwever for youngpp in predominantly White communities theymay only occur with active parental imtervention. one might wonder if this social connection is really  necessary. if a young personahs found a niche among a circle of White frinds, is it really neccessary to establiska Black peer group as a reference point? Eventually it is. Black youths can benefit from seeking support from those who have had similar experiences

AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE CAFETERIA TABLE
historically the small number of African American students who are bussed from Bostaon to this suburnban school have achieved disappointinglevels ofacademic success. in an effortto improve academic achievement,the school introduced a program, known as Student Efficacy Training (SET) that allowed Boston students to meet each day as a group with 2 staff members, tallking about homework difficulties, social issues and encounter with racism . the opp to come together in the companyof suppportive adults allowedthese yhoung Black students to talk about the issues that hndered theirperformance- racialencounter, feeling of isolation, test anxiety, homework dilemmas, in the psychological safety of their own group. themeeting was mandatory and at first the students were resentful. Later, one of the student reported “like we ‘ve all become like one big family, weshare things more with each other, we tease each other likebrother and sisster. we look out for each other with homework and stuff. we always stay on top of each other’ casue we know it is hard with African American students to go to a predominantly White schooland try to succeed with everybody else?

RACIAL IDENTITY IN ADULTHOOD
While anger toward Whites is often characteristic of the encounter phase, during the immersion/ emersion phase the developingBlackpweson sees White pp as simply irrelevant. this is not to say that anger istotally absent but that the focus of attention is on self-discovery rather thanon White . their foocuses are now more exclusively on exploring my owncultural connections. the person is unlearning the internalized stereotypes about his or her own group and is redefining a positive sense of self, based on an affirmative of one’s racial group identity. the Black person is energized by the new info he is learning- angry perhaps that it wasnot available sooner- but excited to find out thatthre is more to Africa than Tarzan movies and that there is more to Black history than victimization. heis willing to establishmeaningful relationship across group voundaries with others, includingWhites, whoa re respectfil of this new seld- definition

there is considerable evidencethat Black students at historically Black colleges and universities achive higher academic performance, enjoy ggreater social involvement and aspite to higher occupational goals than theirpeersdo at predimantly White institution. they feel of engagement, connection, acceptance, extensive support and encouragemnt. consistent with accumulateed evidence on human developemtn, they develop best in environments where they feel valued, protected, accepted andsocially connected.

WHITE

The White person whomakes the mistake fosaying “Gee i dont hink of you as Black” will undoubtaedly be corerected. however, the inner security experieved by adults at this stage often transaltes into a style of interaction that is perceived by Whites as less threatening than that of adults in the immersion / emersion stage

“Do I look Black to you, do and do it by yourself”

Though they want to sep off the cycle of racism, the message from the surrounding White community seems to be “Get back on!”

Another source of the discompfort andanger that Whitesoften experience in this phase stems fromthe frustration of being seen as a group member, rather than as an individual. pp of color learn early in life thatthey are seen by others as members of a group.for Whites,thinking of oneself only as an individual is a legacy of White privilege

If a white person reaches out to a Blackpersonand is rebuffed , it may cause the White to retreat into “blame the victim” thinking

LATINO
US born Mexican Emricans (Chicanos)
the US conquest andannexationof Mexican territory in 1848 created a situation in which pp pf Mexican ancestry became subject to White domination. Like African Americans and Netives, Chicanos were intially incorporated into US society against their will. it was the ggeneral feeling among White settlersthat Whites and MExicans were never meant to live together. though the Mexican population declined immediately after the conquest (due to forced relocation), it increased again during the early 20 th century when US farmer actively encouragedthe immigration of Mexicans.Subsequently , politicaland economic conditions in Mexico havefueled a steady stream of immigrations to the US

Pueto Ricans
Theydid not choose to become US citizens. Peurto Rico  became an unincorporated territory of the US in 1898, ceded by Spain at the conclusion of the SPanish – American war. PR whichhad struggled to become independent of Spain, did not welcome subjugation by te US. an active policyh  of Amricanization of the island population was implemented, inclding attempts to replace spanish with englishas the language ofinstruction onthe island.the attempts to displace spanish were vigorously resisted by Puerto Rican teachers andstudents alike. in 1915, ressitance to the impostition of english resulted in a student strike at Central High School in San Juan, part of a rising wve of nationalism and calls for independence. rather thanlet the PR pp vote onwhether they wanted citizenship , the US congress passed the Jones Act of 1917 , imposing citizenship and the obligation to serve in the US military but denying the right to vote in national elextions. in 1951l, PRwere allowed to vote on whether to remaina territory or to become a commonwealth . through there were those who urged aantoher option, PR independence, commonwealth status was the choice. Commmonwealth status allowed PR greater control of their school systems, and Spanish was restored in the schools
Economic conditions onthe island have drivenmany PR to NY and other Northeastern US cities. many came in the 1940s and 1950s to work in the factories of the Northeast, but as industry left the region many PR workers were displaced. Fluctuating employemnt conditions have contributed to a patternof circular migrationto and from PR which ismade easier by US citizenship
a significant number PR are dark-skinned andmay experience more racism than lighter-skinnerd Latino populations

Cuba
Although Cubancommunities have existed inFL and NY since the 1870s, Cuban immigration to US increased following the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro. the first wave of immigrants were upper class, light-skinned who left inthe very first days of the revolution. they were ableto bring their personal fortunes with them and established businesses in US. the secon goup legt after Castro had beenin power for a few months, andwere largely middle-class professtionals and skill workers. though many were unable to bringn professions wiwth them , they received support from US and charitable org. the last major group of CUban known as Marielitos, arrived in 1980, having lived most of their lives under a socialist gov. Marielitos aretypically much poorer, less educated, anddarker skinned than earliers
becasue the early Cuban immigrants view themselves as pp in exile who might return to Cuba when Castro is no longer in pwer, they have worked to keep Spanish an integral part of their lives in US. They have higher education levelsthantMexicanand PR

Hispanic was used by the Bureau of the Census as an ethnic label and not to denote a race, because Hispanics are a racially mixed group, inclduing combinations of European Whites, African Black, and indigenous American Indian. it is possible for an individual to identify himself oherselfas ethnically Hispanicandracially Black or White at the same time

In general , Latino examined perceptions of degree of emotionalandmaterial support providedby the family, the sense of obligation to provide support to one’s family, and the degree to which families served as one’s reference group. Achieving inschool and at work were considered importantby Latino teensbecause success would allow them to talke care of family members. While White teens considered education andwork as a means of gaining independence from their families

INDIAN
prior to 1492 there were 3-5 million indigenous ppp in US. following the disastrous contect with Europeans, the populations were greatly reduced, and by 1850 there were only about 350 000 IAndians in North America. Now there are almost 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives living in the US. they represent more than 500 diffenrent cultural communities federally defined assoveregin entities with which the US has a gov-to-gov relationhip. in addition there are an estimated 250 Native groups that are not recognized by the US gov
eaach of these cultural communities has it own language, customs, religion,economy, historical circumstances and environment. they range from the very trasitional, whose members speak theirindigenous language at home, to the mostly acculturated, whose members speak english as theirfirst language. most Native pp identify with their particular ancestral community first, and as American Indians second
The Native pop gew slowly in the first half of the 20th century , but has grown rapidly in the second half, dueto a high birth rate and reduved infant mortality. another reason has been that since 1970 a significant number of pp have changed their Census identification to American Indian from some other racial category on the Census forms. this shift in self-identification raises the questions, who is an American Indian. Each Indian nation sets its own criteria for membership. some specify a particular percentage of Indian ancestry (varying from 1/2 to one-sixty-fourth), others specify native languagte fluency. US gov requires1/4 blood quantum (as indicated ona federal “certificate of Indian blood”) in order to qualify for Bureau of Indian Affairs college scholarships. other federal agencies, such as the Bureau of the Census, rely on self-identification
App 50% live westof the Missisipi River. More than half of the American Indian population lives in : OK, CA, AZ, NM, Alaska, WA. 50% live in urban area. 22% live on reservations and trust lands , with most of the rest livingin rural communities nearby
extended family and kinship obligations are important. Group needs are more important than indibidual needs. Communal sharing with thsoe lessfortunate is exxpexted. Tradistional Indian culture sees an interdependent relatioship between all living things. One seeksharmony with one’s human family, so shoulda person try to be in harmony with nature, rather than dominant over it
US gov leaders were convincedthat changing Indian cultural values were the key to “civilizing” Indians and acquiring Indian – controlled lands. follwing the establishment of reservations. one of the major strategies used to facilitate this cultural conversion was the establishment of off-reservation boarding schools for Indian children. Thoughthe US gov ‘s pracctice of removvingchildren from their home environments was regvversed in the 1930s, by then several generations of Indian children hadlosttheir traditionalcultural values and ways, and yet remained alientated fromthe dominant US culture
further cultural disruptions occured in 1940s and 1950s when federal Indian policy shifted again, this time with the goal of terminating the official relationship between the Indian nations and US gov. many Indians were taken from their homes and relocated in urban areas, in a manner reminiscent of the earlier forcedremvoval to reservations. Many felt devastated. They resisted the termination policy and it ended in 1960s following the election of John F Kennedy. the Civil Rights era included NativeAmerican demands for greater self- determination and the dvelopment of a pan- Indian movement bssed on the assumption that Native Americanshared a common set of values and intersts
inresponse to Indian activism, the federal gov condemnedits own destructive policies of the past and icnreased support for Indian self- determination , passing legislation in the 1980s and 1990s designed to promote Indian-controlled schools,protect American Indian religious freedom, and preserve traditional Indian languages

when a student expressed an interst in sudying American Indian history. His advisor told him to gocus on area such as US economic history. when he said that he is Natives, the advvisor replied “ i thoughtwe had killled allof them”. this perception is not surprising giventhe absence of contemporary images of Natives inthe popular culture. Native American communities are typically prtrayed as pp of the past, not of the present or the future. this depiction prevailes even in places where there is a large and visible Indian population. teacher expectations of Alaska Natives were low, infact almost half of them dropped out of high shcool before graduation. manycommiteedsuicide. those who did graduate were discouragedfrom attending college and encouraged instead to pursue vocational training

ASIAN
those from Communist contries where religion was outlawed maybe without any religious readition

Chinese
arriving in CA in 1850 for rush gold. theese first arivals were single men who paid their own way to the CA gold fields, hoping to get rich and then return to China. as the gold rush waned, manydid not have enough money to go home. Hired at wages 1/3 below what White wouldahve been paid, Chinese men foundempployment as laborers working onthe transontinental railroad and on CA farms. Restricted by Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 and completely forbidden by Immigration Act 1924. Blacks, Indians, Chinese were viewed as a threat to White racial purity. Laws prohibiting marriage between White and a “negro, mulattto, Mongolian”; immigration resstrictions, special taxxes directed against Chinese, discrimination in housing and employemnt, limited growth of Chinesepopulation. most of them did not start familites in the US

2nd wave of Chinese immigration occured after WWII inan effort to promote an alliance with China against Japan, Exculsion Act repealed to allow a few thousand Chinese scientists and professionals and their familities escaping Communism

3rd wave occured after the 1965 Immigration Act and its 1990 extension. , with entire families immigrating at one

over half of Chinesein US  were foreign born. Because of these 3 phases of immigration, there is great socioeconomic, political, liguistic diversity within the Chinese American community

JAPAN
more than 3/4 are American born , descendants of those who came to US mainland or Hawaii before 1924, attracted byhigh wages and JP gov encouraged women to immigrate as well. often as “picture brides” in arranged marriages, JP families quicckly established themselves. While JP workers were welcomed on the plantations of Hawaii, ethere was considerable anti – JP on the West Coast.
in 1906, SF board of education established a separate school for Chinese, JP, Korean children and the California Alien Land Law banned JP immigrants from purchasing agricultural land because they were ineligible for citizenship (the Natualization Act, passed in 1790, only allowed Whites to become naturalized citizens, so while children born in US automatically became citizens, until this law was repealed, theirimmigrant parents could never be eligible).
Immigration of Chinese came to halt with the 1924 Immigration Act
JP bombing Pearl Harbor in 1941 intensified anti-jp sentiment. March 1942, Executive Order 9102 establishedthe War Relocation Authority , making it possible to remove 120,000 JP Americans fromt heir West Coast homes without a trial or hearing and confine them in internment camps in places as far away as Idaho, COlorado and Utah. One response to this internmentexperience was for JP American families to encourage their childrento become as “American” as possible in an effort to prevent further discrimination. For this reason as well as their longevity in US make them most accultured of the Asian Pacific American

KOREAN
beginningwith fewer than 10 000 laborerswho arrived between 1903 and 1905. while there were some Korean “picture bride”, most male immigrants were unable to start families becauseofthe same antimiscegenation laws that affected the Chinese.
anotehr group came after WWII and Korean War, included Korean adoptees and war brides.
the 1965 Immiggration Act increased Korea innimgration of entire families with 30000 Koreans arriving annully between 1970 and 1990/ hese Koreans came from a wide range of socioeconomic andedcational levels. mostKorean Americans currently living in US were part of this post 1965 immigration, thus most are livingin families consisting of immigrant parents andAmerican -born or- raised children, families in which differin rates of acculturation may contribute to generationalconflicts

FILIPINO
experienceda patternof maleimmigration to Hawaii,and then the mainland US in early 1900. Becasue they could not establish families, there are few descendants from this wave of immigration. This ended in 1930 wehn Congress set a Filipino immigration quota of 50 per year. Because the US military presence in the Philipines during most of the 20 th century , Filipino immigrants are much more familiar with US culture than most Asian immigrants are

INDIA
1st immigrants were farmers who settled onthe West Coast in 1850s. The current includes many highly educated english speaking adults and their children/

ARAB
a very heterogeneous group that is multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic. Although Arab and Muslim are often linked together, many Arabs are Christaianand many Muslims are not Arabs. some who identify as Arab may not identify as Asian at all, despite the gov ‘s classification system
1st wave between 1890 and 1940 from Syria and Lebanon, 90% were Christian and they seem to have assimilated in new couuntry with relative ease
2nd wave began after WWII, collg graaduates or came in pursuit of higher education., dominated by Palestinians, Egyptuans, Syrians, Iraqis, and came to US with an Arab identity shaped by COld war politics and the Arab- Israel conflict. many are Muslims and have been increasingly impacted by anti-Arab sentiments and “terrorist” stereotyping in US

VIETNAM
more than 25% live in poverty as compared to 13% of thegeneral pop.

RACIAL
the avvg income of native-born indivuduals is lower than that of recent immigrants, suggesting that someof the Asian American success story may be due to immigration policies that have given priority to highly skilled Asian immigrants

becasue of the attitude that Asians are academically succcesful ,many schoos do not monitor or record the drop out rates among Asian Pacific Americans

for the first 100 years of “Asian America” 1840- 1940s ,the image of each community were racialized and predominantly negative. the Chinese ‘Mongolians”, JP and Korean ‘yeallow peril’, filipinos ‘little brown monkey’, Asian Indians ‘ragheads’
late 1960s as partof the social transformation of the Civil Rights ear, theconcept of a panethnic Asian American identity emerged among second- and third- generation JP , Chinesse, Filipino college students

their anger made me angry becasue i did not even know the Asian Americans felt oppressed, i did not expect their anger
…by ignoring commments such as these, i was protecting myself

THE ONE-DROP RULE
in both legal and social practice, anyone with any known african ancestru (nomatter how far back in the family lineage ) was considered Black, while only those without any trace of known african ancestry were called whites
this rule was institutionalized by the US Cencus Bureau in the early 20th centruy. Prior 1920, “pure Negoes” were distinguished from “mulattoes” inthe Census count,but in 1920 the mulatto category was fropped and Black was defined as any pweson with known Black ancestry
in 1960 the practice of self- deficition began , with heads ofhousehold indicating the race of household members. however the numbers of Black families remained the same suggesting that the heads of household were using the same one-drop criteria that the Census takers had been using. 12% of pop self-identifies as Black in Census although 75-90% have White ancestors and 25% have Native American ancestor. the choice of biracial identity was not a viable option
this rule applies only to Blacks in US, and to no other racial group in any other nation in the world. For eg, individuals whose ancestry is 1/4 or less American Indian arenot generally defined as Indian unless they want to be

CHILDREN
“ you are black and you are white. you have to accept everything about yourself, otherwise you are not going to like yourself. but clai your black first because that is the part of you that needs sticking up for most.

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: