The black and white story of America

African-Americans-Life

The black and white story of America

“There was no room for nuance because you were already different; you were already black” said Lorick Wilmot, the author of a book about how identity shapes the lives of middle-class black Caribbean Americans. It’s called ‘Stories of Identity among Black, Middle Class Second Generation Caribbeans: We, Too, Sing America’.

 

The ‘others’ and the ‘othering’ are two crucial concepts studied and observed in the studies of the literature of immigrants. Lorick –Wilmot who is a scholar-in-residence at Northeastern University’s John D.O’Bryant African American Institute, interviewed people who resided and witnessed the process in the Civil Rights Movement and had complex identities rather than just being ‘black’. The process becomes more difficult for the black children born in the white country (the children of Caribbean immigrants in the United States of America). They feel alienated from their own identity and strive to adjust with the colour which was never theirs. The blacks struggle to win the game of imitation where they change and modify themselves to be accepted by the whites. When the efforts go unsuccessful they suffer from an identity crisis, where they belong neither here nor there. They are left imbalanced and are thrown in between the two spheres, foreign to each other. They became strangers to their own and the foreign culture.

 

The notion of being accepted rules the mindset of the African-Americans living their foreign life. The urge to be appreciated and liked as ‘one of them’ and ‘not different’ is dominant and is what an immigrant dwells with, for his entire life. The study and the words in the book written by Lorick-Wilmot exclusively puts forward, with examples, the history, culture and politics of the black people in the United States.

 

Akshara Palshetkar

Akshara Palshetkar
Akshara Palshetkar

aksharapalshetkar22@gmail.com

"Bachelor's in English Literature and a creative mind at heart"

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