The Black Identity Is An Elusive Ideal Essay

1238 Words Feb 29th, 2016 5 Pages
The Black identity is an elusive ideal. Indeed, the troubles Black people have encountered in the search for the Black identity are dwarfed only by those experienced in their troubled and difficult past. To complicate and confound things further, new concepts and notions of Blackness seem to arise with each generation. Whether rooted in activism, rejection of white ideals, or in the more immediate past, these ideals are, more often than not, troubled and complicated in and of themselves. The core conflict of luminary Black author Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use,” though superficially a simple family dispute over some household items, is in fact a depiction of this central conflict among the Black community. In “Everyday Use,” Walker not only depicts a stark generational divide in Black identity, but also critiques that of newer generations, cautioning that they might lose the knowledge and favor of the previous generations should they neglect the everyday use of that knowledge. The story’s 1973 publishing date reveals as much about the story and Walker’s possible intentions as do the words which comprise it. Following the significant sociopolitical gains of the 1960’s, Black people, perhaps for the first time in their history, found themselves in a better position to carve their own paths through society with improved access to education and increased participation in the political process. The result, culturally, was explosive. Upcoming generations of Black people began to…

Related Documents