Analysis Of ' Our Time ' Essay

Analysis Of ' Our Time ' Essay

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Abused and Overlooked



We’ve seen the word autoethnography in Pratt’s essay. We’ve also seen an example of how it relates to Mexican cultures and languages in Anzaldula’s essay. But what does the word really mean to us? How does the word relate to us? Our people? How do we relate to it? I am an African American and Wideman gives a good example of how it relates to African Americans. More specifically, he focuses on African American men in so-called “ghetto” neighborhoods. However not all African American men in these areas fit this stereotype. Wideman explains how these men can be overlooked as human beings and shouldn’t be instantly categorized under the typical stereotype. He shows an example of these people being targeted, stereotyped, and marginalized in an Essay titled “Our Time.”

Pratt defines autoethnography as people describing themselves in a way that engages with representations others have made of them. (319) However, examples of this vary in many ways. In Wideman’s essay he explains what people think the dominant discourse for black men in

“ghetto” areas is. The dominant discourse is what the American society says is acceptable. These men’s ideas of “getting over” is a reaction to the dominant discourse. The dominant discourse that he introduces refers to these men as “gangsters” or “hustlers.” Along with introducing this, he also explains how there is some truth to this stereotype and how African Americans themselves are making this true. African American men would rather sell narcotics than to work an actual job to be successful. Simply because they think it’s the easier way to make a quick buck. It is brought to our attention how these stereotypes are putting our people in danger and bad situations...


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...hma attack. Him and the rest of the men tried to get the attention of the guards for help but the crude guards came to help after an hour later. Sadly the man was pronounced dead at the jail. These men are just few of the many African American who get this type of abusive treatment everyday.

In conclusion, Wideman’s essay is just one of many different examples how of dominant discourses, stereotypes and autoethnography is seen in different cultures and races. Although African Americans are not the only ones who have been victims of abusive behavior because of their dominant discourse, we have experienced this problem for a very long time. The problem of people being overlooked and seen as unimportant and even being abused because of their race, culture or religion is something that needs to stop. How much more evidence do we need for things to change?

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