Essay on `` Shame `` By Dick Gregory

Essay on `` Shame `` By Dick Gregory

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In the essay “Shame”, by Dick Gregory, the author narrates how two painful experiences during his childhood reflected how difficult it was to grow up as a poor African American. Gregory was ashamed of being on welfare and of his poverty, so much so that he got of rid of the warm hooded mackaw he received because it was a reminder that he and his family were on relief. Gregory also expresses his embarrassment, shame, and desire to hold onto his dignity throughout it all. In the essay “I Became Her Target”, by Roger Wilkins, the author describes how it was difficult for him to break the ice with his classmates because he was a new student in school. In fact, Wilkins was the only black student in this new school which only worsened the situation. Moreover, he was the target of both fear and prejudice at the hands of the other students’. Furthermore, Wilkin’s help arrived in the form of a teacher who made it clear that she viewed him, as a student that had something positive to contribute. Gregory and Wilkins differ in many different ways.
Most important, is the fact that both Gregory and Wilkins differ in their experiences in school. Initially Wilkins was harassed by some of his classmates, but he was later accepted as another student “They threw stones at me, chased me home when I was on foot and spat on my bike seat when I was in class” (Wilkins 643). This quote means hatred for all of the many years racism has occurred and still does. It represents just how cruel these students were to Wilkins because of the color of his skin as opposed to his overall worth as a human being. In addition to this, Wilkins began to look forward to come to class because of Miss Bean since she enabled him to think and to offer his opinion “She asked m...

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...d obtaining food was always a problem for him. Having clean clothing was also a problem. “I was pregnant with poverty. Pregnant with dirt and pregnant with smells that made people turn away, pregnant with cold and pregnant with shoes that were never bought for me, pregnant with five other people in my bed and no daddy in the next room, and pregnant with hunger” (Gregory 637). His family was on relief and his needs at home was not being met. He also felt ashamed of his situation in life as a result. He came from a poor family and his options and opportunities were extremely limited.
Gregory and Wilkins are successful because of the many hardships that they experienced during their childhood. Even though they are worlds apart and differ in many different ways they still managed to beat the odds and become more than their social class and ethnicity.

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