My New Life as an African-American Woman

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Luke Day
TA:
Sociology 105
Instructor:

My New Life as an African-American Woman

The bad news (in reference to writing a paper from the perspective of an African American female) is that as a white male, it is difficult to understand that perspective. The good news is that, after taking this class and conducting some research for this paper, I can be part of the solution toward promoting equality and acceptance. This can only be achieved through educating the general population about the existing problems and inaccurate perspectives. In order for a new, more accurate perspective to grow credibility, the general population must have agreement with it amongst the different races and genders. This can only happen from various races and genders learning about the existing problems, which is why I took this course – to broaden my knowledge and perspectives. If I suddenly discovered I was an African American woman…. 1. How much financial compensation would you request? What factors do you use for this request?

I find it difficult to believe an organization thinks you could put a dollar amount on this traumatic mistake. The amount of trauma, emotional pain and suffering associated with starting a whole new life cannot easily be converted into a monetary compensation. I have missed out on growing up with my biological parents and family, knowing and loving them, and can only imagine the number of events and incidents that would be different, along with my entire cultural background that formed who I am today. Money cannot replace that. However, if I am required to suggest an amount, it would be in the tens of millions (decided by a judge), for a variety of reasons but mostly so I can give much of it to deserving charities, including those supporting my sisters, African American women. 2. What would happen to your:

Education: Statistically, there are very few minorities in the science and engineering curriculums even today. Therefore, as an African-American female in Civil Engineering, I can fortunately expect to be highly compensated, particularly since I am a rare find. It was more difficult for me to acquire the appropriate academic level I needed to get accepted into such a difficult program, based on the likely lower academic success level of my school due to its lower economical and under-resourced state (Hattery/Smith, 2012, p72). I will be considered one of the lucky ones, though, as many of my sisters would not have been given these opportunities since a much higher percentage of African-Americans live in poverty and cannot afford to go to schools that are adequately funded through property taxes. Although the number of African-American women earning degrees has made incredible strides, there are still way too many without high school diplomas. Of those earning degrees, most of them, as noted above, are not in the higher-earning fields such as science and engineering. Relationships with family and significant others: In most families, the relationship would change dramatically if they had to suddenly accept a child of a different race, but not with my family, so I am not worried about this. We were raised to accept others based on their character – not their color. My parents have friends of different races that I grew up with, as did I, so that circle of friends would likely not be much different. As far as a significant other goes, this is where it might get more difficult. Statistically, more educated African-American women are single (42%) than educated white women (23%). Apparently, it is more difficult for educated African-American women to find partners because the majority (over 60% at BS level and 71% at graduate level) of educated African-Americans are female. This reduces the number of available, ‘deemed suitable’ African-American men (Johnson, 2010, p1). Plus, African Americans have the lowest rates of marriage of all racial or ethnic groups (Hattery/Smith, 2012, p12). The...
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