Social Injustice: Invisibility and Suppression Among Minorities Essay

Social Injustice: Invisibility and Suppression Among Minorities Essay

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A distinctive feature in post-1865 American literature is the recurrent motif of suppression among minority groups in the United States. The literature provided in the Heath Anthology reflects minority citizens like African Americans, Hispanics, and women. American literature during the 20th century serves as a critical lens to examine the social injustices faced by minority groups. Minority artists use literature to examine and redefine their pre-determined role in society.
The critically acclaimed African American scholar, W.E.B. DuBois, contends the strife of minority groups (specifically African Americans) in the United States. DuBois sets the opening scene for other African American literary artists who use literature as a means of self-expression and explanation. According to DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk, African Americans have developed two identities in American society:
“This double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, -- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder” (DuBois 527).
Dubois is arguing the claim that African Americans are forced to have two identities in American society; they are not encouraged to embrace their heritage, but they are encouraged to assimilate to the white man’s definition of acceptance.
A common element in DuBois’ call-to-action speech is the idea of invisibility and suppression among minorities. DuBois is well aware of the affects that take place by assimilating into culture and warns others...

... middle of paper ...

...tury concentrates on social injustices that are afflicting American society. The literary texts successfully analyze individuals movements (the writers piece of work) attempting to have a broader political impact on destroying the concept of assimilation, and embracing cultural heritage among various minority groups in the United States.

Works Cited

DuBois, W.E.B. “The Souls of Black Folk.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition. Ed. Paul Lauter, et. Al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2014. 526-541.
Hong Kingston, Maxine. “No Name Woman.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition. Ed. Paul Lauter, et. Al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2014. 1324-1334.
Pietri, Pedro. “Puerto Rican Obituary.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition. Ed. Paul Lauter, et. Al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2014. 1310-1317.

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