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Is there honestly a full change from the way America used to be in the 1940s comparing to how it is now when it comes to racism and stereotypical people? All my life I was always told that I would be just like any stereotypical black man who ends up in jail or dead, that I would join a gang and that I listen to rap all day. The real truth is that I'm 25 years old, not in a gang, but with an organization Phi Beta Sigma, I'm in college, yes, I have been to jail but not for any federal crime that I had to do major time for (tickets), and yes, I do listen to SOME rap music, but I would rather listen to classical R&B instead. It always made me wonder, why do people of a different color judge me for my color instead of who I truly am? My life has coursed in ways like the poem "The Incident" by Countee Cullen, and that I learned plenty of lessons just like Sylvia did in Toni Cade Bambara’s short story, "The Lesson." Here are my thoughts about racism and stereotypical people in the world.

On my mother’s side I have a grandmother who grew up as a sharecropper. A sharecropper is a farmer who doesn't own the land he farms. The landlord that owns the land gives the farmer a place to live, and buys the seed for the farmer to plant. The farmer gets a share of the profits for his labor. It was not usually much, but his family had a place to live and food on the table. My great grandfather, his wife, my grandmother, and her older sister all were sharecroppers. She told me plenty of stories growing up about racism. For example, there was one point in time in the 1920s she was just getting out of school and she and her sister were walking home; she said four white girls came up to them everyday calling them niggers and would follow them all the way home. My grandmother said she always wanted to fight them but her sister told her, "No, it's not our place to handle this; let the Lord get to them. He'll have his revenge for what they are doing to us." When I read Countee Cullen's poem "The Incident," it reminded me of what grandma was talking pertaining to her story: "Now I was eight and very small, and he was no whit bigger, and so I smiled, but he poked out his tongue and called me, 'Nigger'" (175). She told me later that night that when she came home that she vowed to herself that her children and grandchildren would learn how to handle racism and how to conquer above and beyond who we really are. My family raised me in a Christian environment and pure family who prays for one another every time we get the opportunity to do so. My grandmother herself calls all her grandchildren (there are 15 of us by the way) and she leaves us a monthly scripture every month on our personal cell phone, and let me mind you that we all don't get the same scripture. Whatever she feels the spirit is telling to her to tell us, she does so by the word that she speaks into existence. With that being said, if someone were to ask me if my family is very close? I would definitely answer you, YES we truly are. I can honestly say I was raised in a family where we don't see people for what they look like, but for whom they are. By the age of 25, I have seen and heard every racial slurs, and acts that could be seen in a man. For example, when I went sometimes go to certain grocery stores, there are times where people who work there follow me all around because they think that I plan on stealing. It’s irritating. I, myself, have been called a Nigger. I have been sent to jail because I was black and purely because I was in an all-white neighborhood visiting a good friend of mine who was white, and when I was leaving, the cop pulled me over and sent to jail for no apparent reason at all. That's why I can say I fully understand where Countee Cullen was coming from when he wrote the poem, "The Incident" because multiple so called "incidents" have happened to me. Regardless of what people may think of me color wise, I was raised on how...
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