For my reading assignment I read The Appropriation of Cultures by Percival Everett. Percival Everett is an American distinguished writer and currently is a professor at the University of Southern California. The protagonist of the story is Daniel Barkley a sharp musician who studied at Brown University. Barkley didn’t have to work and had quite a lot of money that he had collected because of the death of his aunt. Since Barkley didn’t need to work he found himself playing music and reading for the most part of his day. On occasions he would go play music at a bar near the Campus of the University of South Carolina and this is where the story blooms. While Daniel is playing with some old guys a group of white fraternity kids yelled at him to play Dixie. Dixie was a very famous confederate anthem, but Daniel wasn’t troubled by the request and proceeds to play the song. The frat boys were so surprised that they stormed out of the bar. Later in the story Daniel insists on buying a truck with a confederate flag on it because he claims that the flag is the black power flag and creates all type of confusion. All the white people stopped using the flag and the African Americans started flying it as a symbol of their Southern Blood. The flag disappears eventually because the African Americans stop using it too. I really loved the story because of the irony that Percival Everett creates. His protagonist finds a way to play mind games with everyone by not being offended by the past and using negative symbols such as the flag and Dixie as a way of making the ignorant white people to “look away, look away, look away…”. I don’t find the story relative to times now because America in most cases has progressed from when the story takes place, but it is relative to my history and I think Percival Everett did a great job evoking the irony in his story when in reality the situation was one that should be taken very seriously.
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