Racism in Song of Solomon, Push and Life of Olaudah Equiano

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Expressing Racism in Song of Solomon, Push and The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano African-Americans often are discriminated against, suffer from a barrage of racial remarks, and even endure racially based acts of violence. Unfortunately, this crime against humanity goes both ways. Those being oppressed may retaliate as a matter of self-defense, sometimes becoming that which they despise most. In many cases the Black man is forced into developing racist mores against the White man due to past history and to the fact that Whites discriminate against them. The victim of oppression can become the oppressor and, in fact, this 'reverse racism' may easily develop into a feeling of superiority for Black people. Although both parties, Black and White racists, suffer from the belief that their own race is the superior one, it could be said that the Black community is oftentimes more justified in their beliefs. Black writer, Sapphire is quoted as saying "One of the myths we've been taught, is that oppression creates moral superiority. I'm here to tell you that the more oppressed a person is, the more oppressive they will be" (Walker, Fall 2001). I believe it not only creates a more oppressive group of people, but a group that believes they are morally superior. This moral superiority is evident in the writings and the personal lives of Olaudah Equiano, Toni Morrison, Sapphire and Maya Angelou. These writers display a common point of view held among many African-Americans in their views of Africa versus America, morality among Whites versus morality among Blacks, and racial inferiority versus racial superiority. African-Americans often form comparisons between Africa, the country they were forcibl... ... middle of paper ... ...and the Middle Passage. Ed. Maria Diedrich, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Carl Pedersen. New York: Oxford UP, 1999: 47-56. Davis, Jane. The White Image in the Black Mind: A Study of African American Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000. Equiano, Olaudah. "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano." The Classic Slave Narratives. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: Putnam, 1987: 1-182. Mandville, Sir John. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1983, p.64. Morrison, Toni_Guest. Personal Interview. Jet 31 August 1998. www.findarticles.com (10 Sept. 2001). Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. New York: Penguin Group, 1977. Sapphire_Guest. Personal Interview by Carletta Joy Walker. www.foodcoop.com (13 Sept. 2001). Sapphire. Push. New York: Random House, 1997.

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