Race, Class, And The Dilemmas Of Upward Mobility For African Americans

1637 Words Nov 12th, 2016 7 Pages
What defines an individual? Besides the given name, every individual is often viewed by making connections with his/ her background information such as race and ethnicity. In “Race, Class, and the Dilemmas of Upward Mobility for African Americans”, Elizabeth Cole and Safiya Omari used the concept of intersectionality to suggest that there are a lot more hidden characteristics when it comes to identifying an individual, specifically in this case, African Americans. Intersectionality is the overlap in experiences of social categories such as race, class, gender and much more. Using Cole and Omari’s article as a lens, an excerpt taken from Dreams from My Father written by Barack Obama will also be analyzed and used to support Cole and Omari’s idea that besides looking at race, African Americans’ social class level, skin color, and gender are also taken into consideration to determine their place and where they stand in the society. Is there a difference between individuals of the same race? Throughout “Race, Class, and the Dilemmas of Upward Mobility for African Americans”, Cole and Omari repetitively make claims that even being in the same race does not make everyone equal. They quote, “Class and, perhaps more importantly, status divisions have long existed within the African American community” (786). With this, they add, Blacks were divided into two groups, light and dark skin. During the days of slavery, Blacks with a lighter shade received benefits and better work tasks…

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