Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria Analysis

1094 Words 5 Pages
Mrs. Tatum, a clinical psychologist and president of Spelman College in Atlanta, writes an essay called Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? where she explores the hidden world of black students trying to find their identity. Tatum claims that self-perception is shaped by others, including the environment which can cause a fragmented view of one's self-image. I must agree that self-perception is in fact significantly affected by others and their views. Tatum argues in her essay with tone, diction, examples, definitions, and rhetorical appeals as she explains why kids of African heritage are unsure of their identities.
Firstly, she employs diction to her benefit Tatum is able to strengthen her essay with strong vocab
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This level helps the readers connect to the interviewees and help see how the interviewees feel like "...they're going to see first, no matter how much I try to de-emphasize my Blackness" and being "rejected by her Black classmates..." because she "sound(s) white" (pg 6, pg 8). This use of personal interviews additionally helps readers see the experience as humans, to see that people are suffering because of these shallow mindsets of others impacting them. That, overall, helps strength her interviews and ties to the audience as it brings a personal view into her argument. It makes her audience want change and want to help the interviewees. Also, Tatum brings in studies to back up her interviews and give them more meaning than just emotional value. For example, in both studies, in paragraph 25 and 33, it was found that black students had "anger and resentment" in response to knowing they were being "systematic(ally)" excluded from "full participation in US society" that leads to fear amongst black students to be "identified as a brainiac" as that could lead to "peer rejection" because it was something that was not accepted "amongst their Black peers." Noting these studies brings in, educated voice and mindset, expressing that her research was not solely based on emotions, but that self-perception is affect by outside …show more content…
Mentioning such names as "Martin Luther King" who is a well-known civil rights leader, other professions such as "James Marcia" who wrote an entry in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 3, and Niobe Way, social scientist assist in supporting her argument's sense of truthfulness. By dropping such distinct names, she is portraying herself as educated and professional writer. That in return allows the reader to feel more trusting toward and assume that Tatum knows what she is talking about. Likewise, she goes on and edits in pathos to help attract and maintain the reader's attention, hooking her audience continuously so they read through til the end. Telling of at Malcom X's story incorporates sympathetic feelings as he describes that though he was an "A student and was elected president of his class" he was told that it was "no realistic goal for a nigger" by his teacher when Malcom X told him about his dream to become a lawyer (page 6). The audience knows what was said was wrong and did impact Malcom X as he changed from wanting to be a lawyer to a civil rights leader as he also knew what the teacher said was unjust. Or, other examples of pathos, is the two stories of high school students getting "the message" about how their race impacts what others think of them. The boy got the message after a woman recommended him to a community college after

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