Prejudice and Racism - Home Ownership in A Raisin in the Sun and in America

Prejudice and Racism - Home Ownership in A Raisin in the Sun and in America

Length: 2250 words (6.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Black’s Quest for a Home Ownership in A Raisin in the Sun and in America

In the famous 1959 "kitchen debate" with Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev, Richard Nixon asserted the American Dream of homeownership was available to all Americans regardless of class, race, or any other social constraint. For Nixon, this claim was proof of America's dominance over Russia-of democracy's superiority over communism. Nixon, however, greatly exaggerated the availability of homeownership; owning a home in the suburbs was not an option for all Americans, particularly African Americans. Government subsidies, which were so important in making homes affordable, were not extended to blacks. Furthermore, suburban communities around the country sought to keep their neighborhoods segregated by prohibiting blacks from buying homes through "restrictive covenants." William Levitt, whose Levittown communities symbolized postwar prosperity and the American Dream, would not sell homes to blacks until the government mandated him to integrate in the late 1950s. And the black families who were then successful in attaining a home in the suburbs risked constant threats and violence from their white neighbors who feared, among other issues, that their property values would decrease and their communities would decay. In her 1958 play A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry tackled these issues before they had fully exploded into the American conscience. Her play reveals the fears and restraints, which kept many blacks from achieving the 1950's American Dream.


       The dominant theme in A Raisin in the Sun is the quest for home ownership. The play is about a black family living in the Southside of Chicago-a poverty-stricken, African Ame...

... middle of paper ...


Jackson, Kenneth. The Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York. Oxford University Press, 1985.

Lemann, Nicholas. The Promised Land.  New York.  Vintage Books, 1991.

Marling, Karal Ann.  As Seen on TV.  Cambridge. Harvard University Press, 1994.

May, Elaine Tyler. Homeward Bound. New York. Basic Books, 1988.

Patterson, James T.  Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974. New York. Oxford University Press,1996.

Riesman, David. The Lonely Crowd.  New Haven. Yale University Press, 1961.

Rose, Jerry D. The Lonely Crowd: A Critical Commentary.  New York. Americn R.D. Corporation, 1965.

Rosenberg, Rosalind. Divided Lives: American Women in the Twentieth Century. New York. Hill and Wang, 1992.

Segrue, Thomas J. The Origins of the Urban Crisis. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press, 1996.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination in the Workplace

- Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination in the Workplace The workplace, including its composition and internal organization, is subjected to extensive regulation by the state. The civil society and its voluntary associations, have in fact, an important function with regards to workplace matters. In particular, they serve as a buffer against the state and an autonomous domain. Without them, differences and individual voices can eventually challenge the prevailing political order. But civil society and associational life in particular, perform other crucial functions that depend not on separating and shielding individuals from the society at large but on linking them to each other...   [tags: Racism Prejudice]

Powerful Essays
495 words (1.4 pages)

Prejudice, Racism and the Law in Canada Essay

- Racism and the Law in Canada        In the 1900’s a prominent English scholar Gilbert Murray said: “There is in the world a hierarchy of races;[some] will direct and rule the others, and the lower work of the world will tend in the long run to be done by the lower breeds of men. This we of the ruling colour will no doubt accept as obvious.”(Walker; 1997) It was very true at the time; everywhere you looked you could see that white men assumed all roles of responsibility.  Canada has been fighting a never-ending war against racism in the 19th century....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
2338 words (6.7 pages)

Prejudice and Racism at Our School Essay

- Prejudice and Racism at Our School Racism...the belief that a particular race is superior to others; discrimination or prejudice based on race. Racism has been around for a long time and its effects have been seen a lot in the past few centuries: during the 1800s and earlier - in slavery, the Civil War, and slaves being freed; and then recently, during the 1900s - in the Civil Rights Movement. Everyone in the United States is supposed to have equal rights and not be discriminated against because of race, but sadly, that is not always what happens....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Free Essays
1382 words (3.9 pages)

Racism and Prejudice at State College Essay

- Racism and Prejudice at State College America: the home of the brave and the free, the "melting pot." America: a society of endless possibilities and promises. We as Americans have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Or do we. On what do these rights depend. Power. Power is the ability to influence another's mind. Though expressed in many ways, power is not always accessible. One's social, economic, ethical, and racial status determine how much power one can have--the cultural majority has the power....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
2401 words (6.9 pages)

Prejudice and Racism in Canada Essays

- Racism is a Problem in Canada A few years ago in Smalltown, CA a burning cross was placed in the lawn of a visible minority family. Although the media seemed shocked at this explicit racial attack and portrayed the attackers as a group of abnormal, twisted deviants, I was not surprised. As an Asian student who is writing her Sociology honours thesis on visible minorities in Canada, I know on a personal and academic level that racism in Canada does exist. Although explicit racial incidents are not a common occurrence, they do happen....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
784 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Racism and Prejudice in America

- Racism and Prejudice in America Nigger, Spic, Kike, Cracker. Words of hate that resonate throughout the ideals of racism. Society tends to look only at prejudice on the surface. It is easy to ignore the racism that hides below the surface and is part of American life. I’m talking about apathy. It is apathy that keeps the legacy of hate part of American life. I’m not saying that the majority of white America has a KKK robe in their closet and likes to burn crosses. I’m not even saying that the majority of America is racist....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
618 words (1.8 pages)

Prejudice and Racism - Color or Character? Essay

- Color or Character. On TV and in magazines, you seldom see a dark-skinned black person. Our culture is still being led to believe that having lighter skin somehow makes you a better person. Black people with lighter skin get treated better; I believe this discrepancy stems from the days of slavery. In general, dark-skinned blacks labored in the fields while light-skinned blacks worked indoors. Slave owners and even slaves gave lighter-skinned blacks more respect. This segregation of shades within the same race is a serious problem....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
685 words (2 pages)

The Causes of Prejudice and Racism Essay examples

- In 1619, when the first slaves arrived at the US coast, America's racial problem was born.  Frederick Douglas estimated that there were some three Million slaves in the country before in 1865 the end of the civil war made African-Americans free citizens of the USA.  The legal ground was prepared but at the same time the race question grew more and more complex.  From then on it assumed many forms: Moral, cultural, political, economic, social etc.  During the last one and a half centuries both, black and white intellectuals came up with a great number of different approaches to this problem.  In this paper I will deal with some of the most influential and controversial narratives of...   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
2347 words (6.7 pages)

Essay about Using Asian-Americans to Justify Racism and Prejudice

- Asian-Americans are Not a Model Minority Supporters of affirmative action argue that discrimination and racism have held down minorities in the U.S., and that affirmative action is needed to correct it. In response, critics ask: "If blacks and Mexicans are being held down by discrimination, then why do Asians come to this country and do so well for themselves?" According to this myth, Asians immigrate to America with little or nothing, often as boat people fleeing communism, and through hard study and work become even more successful than European-Americans....   [tags: Racism Prejudice]

Powerful Essays
1788 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Prejudice and Racism – All We Need is Love, All We Got is Hate

- As the snow covered the house that my grandma occupies, I looked out the window to the neighbor's front door, their mailbox, and the circular driveway they had. It was just another home, where kids could build a snowman or throw snowballs on the front lawn. But there where no children or snowmen here. And beneath the snow, the word "N-I-G-G-E-R" was written in the grass. A family- a home- where they had bothered no one. One night someone decided to take weed killer and burn it in giant letters into their lawn....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Free Essays
1117 words (3.2 pages)