The Street Is More Than A Story Of Racism And Poverty Essay

The Street Is More Than A Story Of Racism And Poverty Essay

Length: 1185 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Ann Petry’s The Street is more than a story of racism and poverty in America. This novel is about how the intersectionality of identities limit African-Americans from achieving equality in the dominant race’s society. The protagonist, Lutie Johnson has three barriers dragging her down. She is not only a woman, but a black woman that is also a lower class single mother. In the novel Lutie faces the realities of the American Dream, which for African- Americans is literally just a dream. Lutie also experiences the harsh effects of poverty and how it shapes one’s life.
The limitations forced upon Lutie makes her realize the truth behind the American Dream. When Lutie comes to Harlem she has this idea of the American Dream. She has this notion that “all she had to do was plan each step and she could get wherever she wanted to go.”(63). She has this independent attitude that since she is young and strong “there isn’t anything [she] can’t do.”(63). What she didn’t realize until later on in the novel is that the intersectionality or her identities as being both a woman and black, a single mother and lower class would limit her from accomplishing her goals. Lutie held on this fantasy life and idolized people like Benjamin Franklin. She thought if “Franklin could live on a little bit of money and could prosper, so could she.”(64). Franklin was also a white male, which put him in the majority category automatically whereas Lutie rests in the minority category. A person like Franklin’s rise to success would be much easier compared to an African American’s. Where people like Franklin will experience triumphs, people like Lutie will experience failure due the intersectionality of her identities.
The intersectionality of Lutie’s ide...

... middle of paper ...

...s hard to try to steer Bud into the right direction in life and due to the intersection of her identities he will probably end up how she never wanted him to, which is working for the man. At the end of the novel Lutie reiterates a question that her grammar school teacher raises regarding “what possible good has it done to teach people like [Lutie] to write?”(436). Due to society’s limitations upon African-Americans Lutie is saying that whether they were taught to write or not it doesn’t matter, because the system is set up for them to fail anyway.
Together these limitations brought on by society makes it impossible for Lutie to grow as a person. Lutie has dreams and aspirations to move far away from The Street and find a decent job to provide for her family. Due to these limitations society places upon her she will never be able to see these dreams come true.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Racism : Racism And Racism Essay

- Remember how I told you that people around me are racist. My aunt and uncle, my best friend, and at one point, my parents. Yes, that’s right. Your brother was at one time, and sometimes still is, kind of racist. So why am I writing you this letter. Well I just read this interesting article about racism, specifically biker weeks that were basically segregated. And we know a lot about bikers, since Dad used to be one. So in South Carolina, one biker week called Harley week is exclusively white while the other called Black Bike is solely black....   [tags: Racism, White people, Race, Race]

Better Essays
1460 words (4.2 pages)

Institutional Racism : A Racist Motive Essays

- It was thought that the color of people 's skin could say exactly who they are. These ridiculous ideas of knowing who people are based on what they look like were derived from stereotypes that have been around for a while. These stereotypes came from the Ku Klux Klan, also known as the KKK, who spread these ideas like wildfire. These ideas were drilled into people 's heads, and these ideas were taken as true facts, and this influenced them to do actions that can 't be proven to be racist, but have a racist motive....   [tags: Ku Klux Klan, Racism, White supremacy]

Better Essays
1537 words (4.4 pages)

The Racism Of Black Wall Street Essay

- In Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921 there once was a neighborhood that was full of black owned businesses, schools, banks and churches. This community was full of great opportunity for African Americans, it was filled with black lawyers, doctors and business owners, it was said that this community had some of the first black millionaires, they called it “Black Wall Street”. It was only 1 square mile area, but it was were most African-Americans finally had a chance to make something of themselves and make their dreams come alive....   [tags: White American, Black people, Race]

Better Essays
1149 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Racism: A Global Disease

- “Webster’s English dictionary defines racism as a belief in the superiority of some races over others; prejudice against or hatred of other races; discriminatory behavior toward people of another race," when in reality it is ignorance to not allow others to be individuals. Canada has laws to protect our people from such crimes, but they are not always efficient, and people sometimes have found way of getting around these laws. Many people are naive and do not realize how much racism truly still occurs in our society, even at the present day....   [tags: racism, prejudice, racial profiling]

Better Essays
1096 words (3.1 pages)

Is Black Pride Racism? Essay

- “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” (Malcolm X) The African- American race as people have faced many challenges and has been through many struggles and oppressions. These events in history have fostered a sense of pride and for some hate in later generations. The pride that African- Americans have is usually referred to as Black Supremacy, Black Pride, and Black Power. The ideas of these prides are for black people as whole to have strong sense of who they are as a people, self-worth, self-determination, and equality....   [tags: racism, discrimination, prejudice]

Better Essays
1207 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Police Recklessness, Not Racism

- Fox, James. (2015, 9 August). Police recklessness, not racism. USA Today. Retrieved from -rise-justifiable-homicide-column/31121091/ Fox begins by talking about how Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson and how that shooting and his death, caused protests throughout the nation. Fox questions as to why there was police violence to begin with and he comes to the conclusion that the violence occurred out of recklessness and not racism....   [tags: Racism, Race, Police, Black people]

Better Essays
1263 words (3.6 pages)

Institutional Or Systemic Racism? Essay

- Next, Institutional or systemic racism refers to the laws, policies, practices, rules and procedures that operate within organisations, societal structures and the broader community to the advantage of the dominant group or groups and to the detriment and disadvantage of other groups. Institutional racism may be intentional or unintentional. Jim Crowe is a great example of institutional racism. Jim Crow laws were the name of the racist caste system put in place to segregate African Americans, Hispanics and any ethnic minority....   [tags: Black people, Race, Racism, White people]

Better Essays
1686 words (4.8 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]

Better Essays
2347 words (6.7 pages)

Essay about Racial Profiling is Institutionalized Racism

- On the night of February 4th 1999, Amadou Diallo, an unarmed and innocent African immigrant, was gunned down in a hail of 41 bullets while standing in the vestibule of his own apartment building in the Bronx. The officers responsible for Diallo's death were part of New York Police Department's "elite" Street Crime Unit. The plain-clothes officers approached Diallo and pulled their weapons. When Diallo, probably believing they were thieves, pulled out his wallet, the "elite" officers opened a barrage of 41 bullets on the unarmed black man....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Better Essays
841 words (2.4 pages)

Racism Essay

- It's one of the most explosive topics around and one that people rarely greet with sincerity. Everywhere you go, and everywhere you look, there is always somebody different. Imagine walking down the street and having people stare at you or call you names, or talk behind your back, just because your skin is a different color, or your of a different religion. We all seem to ask our selves the same question over and over, why do people do this. But unfortunately racism is almost impossible to stop....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
527 words (1.5 pages)