“What Set You from, Fool?”

Topics: Black people, White people, African American Pages: 2 (626 words) Published: February 12, 2011
After reading this article “What Set You From, Fool?” I must admit that I am confused. It was difficult to determine what the point of it was. The author expressed some clear points of the difficulties he faced growing up as a black man in Los Angeles, however the article seemed more of a story than a statement to the end. It is possible that having grown up in New York City myself, the difference in culture will be the reason for my confusion. Overall, most of the piece is awkwardly written and hard to follow. I’m not sure if this was done intentionally. The author technique of switching back and forth between Standard English as he expressed himself through intellectual thoughts and words to what seemed like forced “ebonics”. In my opinion, the article did not flow smoothly at all. I found myself having to reread and translate words to grasp the full meaning of sentences. Having to continuously do this lessened my interest in the reading. However, like the connection the author tries to make between blacks having as tough a time being accepted into the black community as whites do. He mentions a few instances where there was an entire thought process involving with certain situations that could have been disastrous for both races (the white boys greeting blacks using the word “nigga” and the author entering a store to buy St. Ides with a friend and encountering gang members). It was interesting that the author was born as a black man but until approximately middle school age, had never experienced the urban life. Apparently, before he moved to L.A., he was surrounded by people who called him “nigger”. However, he didn’t know how to react and/or if to react, so when he arrived in LA in their school system and was called a “nigger” he immediately associated it with what they (whites) called him in Santa Monica and identified himself as well as the other kids were. In Santa Monica he was called a “Nigga” there he hadn’t associated it to anything because...
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