Analysis Of Rachel Dolezal's Article 'Black Like Who'

Rachel Dolezal is a Caucasian prominent civil rights activist who decided she wanted to identify as black. She changed her skin color, curled her hair, and created fictional stories in order to perpetrate her desired identity. After she was caught misrepresenting herself, stories sparked public conversation. This essay will focus on key terms discussed in class and how they can be related to the mass media 's response to the situation. According to the reading "Mapping the Terrain: Definitions," creation of ethnic identity occurs when groups or individuals claim cultural distinctiveness based on the perception of a common decent, physical appearances, and beliefs (Mapping the Terrain: Definitions). There are three ways a person can claim …show more content…
(Module 5 eText) The result is that many people have different interpretations of what race is and defining characteristics has resulted in much disagreement and controversy. A good example of this is shown through the article, "Black Like Who" Tamera Harris, which demonstrates two examples of how race is a product of human interpretation. The first example is shown through Tamera 's own perception of what qualifies somebody to actually be black. The author of this article states, "Black women—real ones— live at the nexus of that oppression (systemic racism) and enduring sexism." This shows that being black requires the experience of the oppression they feel is inherent to their race. In the writer 's opinion, people who do not live through the societal hardships are not truly black. According to this ideology, because Rachel Dolezal grew up white and experienced some of the privileges, this disqualifies her from identifying as …show more content…
(Module 3 eText) This inherent pecking order is s illustrated in the article "Activist 's outing deepens national debate over race." The expose discusses what the national conversations following the news of the Rachael Dolezal case reveal about American attitudes; that many people still see black lives as inferior to white lives. On social media, a significant portion of the population questioned the activist 's mental health for "opting out of whiteness for blackness." Apparently, many of these people believe the prospect of choosing to be black over white results only in disadvantageous circumstances. They fail to consider the personal advantages she attained while conducting this ruse. According to the article, "Black Like Who?," Rachel Dolezal took deliberate steps to darken her a skin and adopt hairstyles associated with black women. Dolezal did this to give the perception that she shares common characteristics associated with the racial identity of a black people, thus should be afforded special considerations as a member of a historically oppressed ethnic

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