Racial Identification And Mixed Race Essay

Racial Identification And Mixed Race Essay

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“Canadians have a favorite pastime, and they don’t even realize it. They like to ask – they absolutely love to ask – where you are from if you don’t look convincingly white.” (Hill np). Race is never a really straightforward issue in Canada and hardly a matter of the past. Issues of racial identification and “mixed race” are engaged by Lawrence Hill in the text “Black plus White, ...equals black” an excerpt from his novel “Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada” (HarperFlamingo, 32$). He has struggled to develop his own sense of identity through various experiences, one of them was “straightening out his hair” which was encouraged by his father. From my perspective, although Hill’s father’s action stemmed from good intentions, it resulted in a negative effect on Hill’s confidence with regards to his appearance and his own differences as a child; despite that, generally speaking, his parents still made a great influence on Hill’s identity. As any father would, Daniel Hill wanted the best for his children more than everyone else, including the hope that his three children could fit in the society that “doesn’t love – or even like – black people” (Hill 16). Being a black man born and raised in the United States when there were numerous laws that banned interracial marriages and upheld segregation in every domain of public life” (Hill 18), he must have experienced all kinds of racism: everything black people did was limited and controlled, they had less freedom and fewer rights than white people, they had to face up with serious discrimination and negative stereotypes, just because of their skin color, or more precisely, the melanin in their skin. The decision to move to Canada which is supposed to have more tole...


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...cial message in the “straightening out the frizzy hair” incident (Hill 20). From my point of view, Hill’s parents were still the great inspiration for him, a mixed-race couple moved from the United States to Canada “where race faded (most of the time) into the background” (Hill 18) so that their child could have an easier life, let him hear and love the music that “defined black musical expression, and black people themselves” (Hill 19), and told him the stories of their working world which instilled in him a measure of a black pride... (Hill 20). It can be said that without his parents’ involvement, Hill would not have formed and developed his own sense of self, manifested in creative ways; ways that could not have been expressed in American. In conclusion, the influence of Hill’s parents on the discovery his cultural identity is significant and irreplaceable.




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