How Intergroup Forgiveness For A Racial Offense Essay

1200 Words May 6th, 2016 null Page
As found in the 1963 “Love that Forgives” Sunday school lesson from the 16th Street Baptist Church, “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” The idiosyncratic history of African Americans in the U.S. is marked by experiences of racism, oppression, inequality, and adversity. These problematic experiences are critical in understanding how intergroup forgiveness for a racial offense is inspired and cultivated within the African American culture. Exemplary and virtuous cases of African Americans professing intergroup forgiveness toward White Americans that have committed injustices against them are found in the stories of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Al; in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. As well as in the mistreatment of Rosa Parks on the public bus system in Montgomery, Al. Despite these positive images of blacks forgiving in the midst of hardship, “the American people [have been] force-fed a media diet of stereotypes and misperceptions [mainly by white Americas], over-criminalizing and marginalizing African Americans through language, images and omissions” (Throw Away the Script 1). An examination of forgiveness as a cultural response to that “media diet” will inform popular representations of black people as social change agents in American history by providing…

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