Colors of the Rainbow

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Colors of the Rainbow

January 31, 2011

Race, segregation, and discrimination is still being talked about even to this day after everything that had went on. It only seems right that race and ethnicity is discussed in the month of black history. This is the time that we celebrate the accomplishments of one special man that allowed us to see past color and ethnicity; the one we call Dr. Martin Luther King. We have come a long way from back in the day when two different races were not allowed to unite and have relationships; let alone sit on the same bus together. The Apartheid was a big setback for the African American race. Nadine Gordimer’s "Country Lovers," Smith’s "What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl," and Walker’s "The Welcome Table," allow us to be able to see what happens when race and ethnicity is an issue in the lives of many. Being able to compare the representations of both race and ethnicity in these three short stories permit us to focus on the overall point of these two stories and poem. All three have a great deal in common when it comes to the topic of race.

With so much negativity around us it is hard to figure out our place in the world. Some of us struggle with issues within ourselves and some are just day to day problems. We are left trying to be what everyone around us wants us to be. Whether it has something to do with physical appearances or whether it has a lot to do with who we may choose to date or be our life partners. Just like in the years before, a young person are struggling to live in the image of society but is it really worth it; to lose yourself to become someone else. Why is it that we always let others get the best of us and decide our futures? If love was involved would we be so willing to sacrifice our happiness? Apparently for some people that answer is yes because to them society’s image is important. If God wanted everyone to be the same, he would have made us that way.

What is apartheid? Apartheid was a system of legal racial separation which dominated the Republic of South Africa from 1948 until 1993, however, the mechanisms of apartheid were set in place long before 1948, and South Africa continues to deal with the repercussions. Under apartheid, various races were separated into different regions, and discrimination against people of color was not only acceptable, but legally entrenched, with whites having priority housing, jobs, education, and political power ( 2011).

Apartheid was not only a system of interconnected social, political and economic structures that oppressed, but that it required those who lived under it to enforce it in supremely intimate ways (Sullivan, L. 2010)).

What is segregation? Segregation is the separation of individuals into different racial groups. Segregation allowed for all “whites” or all “blacks” to remain grouped together in a school church, restaurant, and any other public places (Defina, Robert. 2009). This is just like the story “The Welcome Table,” when the white people in the church wanted the black woman out and even went as far as having their husbands throw her out.

At times we have things that hinder us from doing what it is that we may have our heart set on doing. Sometimes these things can come into effect for the better and at times for the worst. This is exactly the vibe I picked up from Thebedi. She was a black farm girl that was in a very intimate relationship with a white man that was not and could not go anywhere further than where it was going. This was the time of apartheid and which was also the hindrance in the life of Thebedi. Race represented the major issue in her life which was hindrance because if race was not an issue at the time then she and the white man would be able to further their relationship. But I got the feeling that this was the way that the man wanted it to be. If you really loved someone you would fight for them but he neither fought nor did he allow her to bear his...
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