Barbara Jeanne Fields: Slavery

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, White American, Definition Pages: 1 (348 words) Published: October 27, 2011
Alejandro Haro
mangin hist.17A

Barbara Jeanne Fields main point seems to be that race could be non existant in our every day life if we all cooperate to eliminate the term from our culture. She claims, that "race" is just an ideology that we create and re- create as a society. There are passages where fields mentions that "race" is not biological. By this she means that there is no way that race is in our genes, therefore being no way for "race" to be handed down from generation to generation. She claims that we have the key to what social vocabulary we give the power to in the future. (social vocabulary: ideology: "RACE") Fields definition of ideology is simple. She says that ideology is transmitted through social vocabulary. That social vocabulary gets power from how a person reacts to a certain idea or a a word. The example with the four year old defines her idea of ideology because of the way the mother reacts to the kid saying, "no my friend is brown." The mom reacted with a giggle that embodied a bit of embarassment and a bit of allure. The embarassment coming because the kid said "brown" to define his friend and the allure because her child's innocence toward the matter. By her giggling, the child sees that defining her friend as something else or as brown is ok and "the race" is re-created again. The part of the reading that i enjoyed the most was the section where Fields gives examples of euro-american and caucasian slaves. I had no idea that euro americans where once slaves by term in the northern colonies. I had a slavery-free perspective of the northern colonies. With that being said, i enjoyed reading that once the word slave is mentioned society links it to afro-americans, when in reality every tribe or nation in the world has had slaves at a point in their history. Having all the weight of slavery carried by african americans is an oddity to me.
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