The Importance Of The Contact Zone

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Mary Louise Pratt, a college professor at Stanford, came up with the term contact zone and described it as, “social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other” (Ways of Reading 319). We all must go through contact zones in our lifetime whether that means getting a job at a diverse company or being exposed to new cultures at school. We all must go through contact zones to help society overcome racist tendencies. I have gone through many contact zones starting on my first day of kindergarten, going to new schools, and finally learning about new cultures from people at work. The earliest contact zone that has stuck with me was my third-grade classroom. It was apparent from the very first day I would be learning about new cultures.…show more content…
the Board of Education schools were legally segregated. This helped create a hateful America that was very neglectful of treating different people with respect. The Civil Rights Movement managed to help end this segregation at a costly price. Many lives were lost and things damaged due to the clash in this contact zone. The African-American culture managed to leak through the barriers set around the culture and eventually overwhelmed the culture zone. After seeping through the obstacles, the African-American culture successfully made it into mainstream media and people finally realized they weren’t so different than anyone else. The drawback of all of this would be that African-American culture would not be socially accepted by everyone until the 90s where many public figures were African-American such as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Will Smith. With excellent advertisement techniques from Nike, Michael Jordan successfully made many people who aren’t African-American come to admit that you don’t have to be Caucasian to be influential. This was groundbreaking in the progress needed to eliminate the hatred that was still felt in the 80s. The final steps of eliminating hatred is exposing everyone to a contact zone from a very early…show more content…
Communities are where groups of people can come together and unite as one. For example, I am a member of the University of North Dakota’s student body, but I’m also a member of the Grand Forks community. Being in the group of students at the University of North Dakota allows me to be in touch with fellow members in my group but, having the group exist in the community of Grand Forks allows students to be able to interact with the community. The community of Grand Forks creates contact zones all the time. The easiest ones to think of are the sporting events here. People from all over the country attend UND and some have never seen a hockey game before. Coming to UND allows those students to embrace the culture from the community of Grand Forks. Next, another example of the Grand Forks community creating a contact zone is when things like the fry feed are held. The fry feed is an event for the potato bowl where people from all over the area come together to celebrate UND football and learn about the culture existing for everyone in Grand Forks. Finally, Grand Forks has concerts and events at the Alerus Center. These concerts and events vary and as a result people from different backgrounds each get a little thing they like. Various events like a country concert help conversation get started between people about the different cultures they may have come from. This is helping the community come

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