First of all coloured people are viewed as lesser human beings by the white community. In Sears’ play Harlem Duet Othello strives to be accepted by the white community, since the ideology that whites are better than blacks exist in his environment. When arguing about affirmative action, he tells Billie about his experience of being a black university professor. He says “Every day I have to prove to them that I can do my job. I feel that any error I make only goes to prove them right” (Sears, 54). This quote shows that while Othello is working a good job he is not treated equally by his colleagues since they believe that he gained his position through affirmative action, lacking respect for him. Othello wants to be respected by his peers but, is looked down upon due to his race thus impeding his ability to find self-actualization. Furthermore, Othello feels that black women do not see him as an individual. Billie constantly puts pressure on to Othello since he is a black man. Othello and Billie engage in a heated argument about whites compared to blacks, Othello says why he prefers white women. Othello says “To a black women, I represent every black man she has ever been with and with whom there was still so much to work out. The white women I loved saw me- could see me” (Sears, 71)
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...ney. He is celebrated by his family and becomes the man his mother was hoping he could be. However, Othello succumbs to the ideals placed on him and fails to achieve self-actualization. Harlem Duet is written as a prequel to William Shakespeare’s Othello. At the end of the play Othello kills Desdemona since she was now considered a cuckold. He places the ideals above his own mentality and chooses to make the wrong action. Thus failing to overcome the obstacles he faces leading to grief.
In Sears’ Harlem Duet and Hansberry’s Raisin in the sun, Othello and Walter both struggle to achieve self-actualization due to their race and the gender roles placed on them. Walter is able to overcome these obstacles but Othello is not. The journey to happiness is long and difficult, filled with many obstacles. But if one is able to reach the end it is worth all the pain and strife.
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