Top-Rated Free Essay

A Fight for Rights

Good Essays
Sha-Dasha Poe
Heather Lowry
English 1101
7 November 2013
A Fight for Rights Standing up and fighting for rights within the community is worthless if there are not supporters who believe in the fight as well. Within Tommie Shelby’s “Social Identity and Group Solidarity” he discusses how African Americans must come together and stand up against racial and social injustice. Shelby implies that black solidarity needs to be emphasized more towards the community on how we should be treated equally because we are human and should not be judged based off our race and culture. Race should not limit anyone’s role within the community or deprive them from who they are. K. Anthony Appiah’s “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections” is a perfect example as to why race should not define people as a whole. Appiah believes that we should not be catergozired in these racial groups because it takes away from our nation sticking together as a one. Both authors make it clear that race should not deprive anyone of human rights because every human deserves to have equal rights. Shelby discusses that in order to eliminate the black stereotypical image; African Americans must unite and call upon each other to fight towards racial injustice. Shelby states “Blacks are a people whose members need to work together to bring about their collective self- realization as a people” (585). This statement shows that Shelby strongly believes that African Americans should utilize black solidarity to the best of their capability to end racial injustice and to be treated equally with full freedom. Shelby does not want the reason for blacks to come together to fight for rights to be the identification of race, but to be because everyone deserve equal human rights. Most pragmatic nationalists believe that collective identity would make African Americans come together more than anything to derive racial and social equality. Shelby feels that collective identity should not be the reason blacks unite to fight for their rights, but should unite because they are human and deserve equal rights. He states, “Blacks should reject this conception of pragmatic nationalism, because cultivating a collective black identity is unnecessary for forging effective bonds among black” (587). With that being said, racial identity should not be the reason people fight towards freedom. It is intellectual desire for true human rights and craving for equality that should be the reason a fight is developed for freedom. He also gave another detailed point as to why collective identity is not necessary. He states, “In the United States, the American Negro group is too large and mixed with too many racial strains for ideology of black-skin supremacy to function within the group” (594). This statement is implying that there are too many groups within the African American society for them to even come together as blacks to fight for rights, so the reasoning should be because we are human and we fight for rights, not because of our race. Shelby believes that the previous statement “can lead to the reasoning that I’m blacker than you, and so is my mama, so im purer than you and your mama” (594). This statement is implying that there are already problems within the black society to fight as just blacks. Shelby’s interpretation leads into Appiah’s belief that race does not define a human, so therefore humans should unite despite our racial groups and fight for human rights. Appiah speaks upon the fact that one word deprives our nation from sticking together as a whole. The term “race” dismantles our people from realizing how powerful our nation can be if we utilize the term in a correct manner. Appiah feels as if there are no actual races within the world. He states, “The only human race in the United States, I shall argue, is the human race” (102). This statement goes along with Shelby’s thought that African Americans do not need collective identity to fight for human rights. The best way for racial and social injustice to be demolished is to unite as the human race and fight for our rights. Shelby discusses that blacks should come together but he does not want the reason to be that it is because they are African American, but because they are human.Shelby states “Of course we all, whether black or not, have an obligation to resist racial injustice…The obligations of blacks in this regard are certainly no greater than those of nonblacks” (592). Both statements shows that Shelby believes that everyone deserve humans rights along with African Americans. Both Appiah and Shelby feel as though we deserve equal rights and in order to fight for rights we must come together as a whole regardless of our race. Shelby states, “On what would make a group of people a race, what it would mean for races to be real, and given what we now know about human variety, whether any races actually exist” (587). This statement connects with Appiah’s interpretation that race does not exist within the world besides the actual human race. Hence, Shelby feels as if blacks should unite to fight against racial and social injustice, but he does not want the reasoning to be because they are black, but because they are human and deserve human rights just as well as any other race deserve their rights. He wants blacks to utilize black solidarity to fight against racial injustice; he does not want to put emphasis on the fact that it is just because they are black but to be because collective identity is not necessary. Appiah believes that race is not necessary within the community. He feels as if there is no actual races besisdes the human race. He believes that people should come together as a whole to fight for human rights and put aside race to fight for freedom from racial injustice. Both authors connect with the fact that we deserve freedom, and we also deserve to not be catergorized with these racial identities; which deprives us from sticking together as a nation. They also feel that race should not be the reason we fight but the reason we fight should be because we are human and are entitled to have freedom.
Work Cited
Appiah, K. Anthony. “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. Eds. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 101-131. Print.
Shelby, Tommie. “Social Identity and Group Solidarity.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. Eds. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 584-610. Print.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Fight for Your Rights.

    • 664 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Fight for Your Rights Through the years, many different groups of Americans have been treated unfairly. They have been denied equal rights and opportunities. Some of these groups were Women, Blacks, immigrants, mentally ill patients, Native Americans, and colonists. It was a while before these groups spoke out for what was right. These groups were not given equal rights but the spoke out for what they believed. Some groups who were denied their rights were immigrants, Native Americans, Women, and…

    • 664 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Fight for Your Right

    • 1006 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Fight ForYour Right By Tierney Hughes In the twentieth century, Martin Luther King Jr. (1929)1968) emerged from the lower class of society, and became one of the most influential civil rights leader in the United States. King promoted non-violent protests in the late fifties, to fight for equal rights for the African American culture. He wanted all races to get along, and he wanted equality for all. Certain laws prohibited equality among races from happening. Moral and immoral laws exist throughout…

    • 1006 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    To die for: The fight for girl’s education rights There is a saying in the 21st century that if you educate a boy, you educate a boy, but if you educate a girl, you educate a village. From religious backings to socio-economic factors girls around the world are fighting for their rights to an education. They are not only fighting for their right to an education but for their lives, a brighter future. It is surprising that in the 21st century, girls are still fighting…

    • 2481 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    involved in conflicts, whether they are small - like between sharing a toy, or big - like the war in Syria, is it ever right to fight? In my view it depends what type of fight it is. If it is physically or mentally harming then it should never be done, but if it is something like a debate, then it is good to fight yin that manner. In sports, such as boxing or wrestling it is ok to fight, since it is not in a bad manner and there is always someone else in the ring to stop things getting out of hand.…

    • 282 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Gay Rights "Adam and Eve; not Adam and Steve", is the argument that many heterosexuals tend to use. I have also heard the same old story argued of Sodom and Gomorrah so much that I could possibly recite it word for word. If anyone were to seriously put their prejudices aside and look at that story, they would see that the sin was RAPE, not homosexuality. I believe that everyone should have equal rights and that includes gay rights. Homosexuals deserve equal treatment legally and socially. Fight…

    • 1755 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Fighting for Equal Rights Jane Addams, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Rachel Carson were four American women who advocated for social change. Their courage, intelligence, strength and leadership made a positive difference in the lives of many people. These women were pioneers in their times. They either helped to found, or lent their voices to, various social movements, policies, and causes that evolved during their lifetimes and proved successful in helping many oppressed people.…

    • 1797 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    T The Fight for Equality and Civil Rights Sherry Johnson HIS 204 American History Since 1865 Prof. Steven Brownson May 4, 2012 The Fight for Equality and Civil Rights A long journey that has been fraught with unimaginable struggles and tribulations has taken us to a time of history in the making, a time when we as citizens of a great nation, bear witness to the first African-American appointed to the position of President of the United States of America. This has been a journey that has…

    • 2249 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    FIGHT BETWEEN RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND RIGHT TO KNOW Rights to Privacy In most of the common law constitutions, right to privacy is not given expressly to their citizens, but derived from judicial review and court decisions. The term “privacy” has been described as “the rightful claim of the individual to determine the extent to which he wishes to share of himself with others and his control over the time, place and circumstances to communicate with others. It means his right to withdraw or to participate…

    • 1807 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    It was tumultuous. It was cramped. It was utterly heart breaking. The fight for civil rights was not easy. The fight for civil rights was not fun. The fight for civil rights is ongoing. Many Americans prefer to forget their history and pretend that their country has always been great and will always continue being great. It is time to face the truth. On August 20, 1619, a ship arrived at Jamestown. This was the ship that began all slavery in the newly formed America. The people aboard the ship had…

    • 625 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Fight for Animal Rights In the article “Fighting Over Animal Rights,” David Masci from the CQ Researcher, asks the question, “Are animal dissections and vivisection still necessary as teaching tools?” Pat Graham is against dissection and responds to Masci’s question. In his first paragraph he makes his claim by stating, “The burden is on those of us who oppose dissection to illustrate that alternative methods in no way lessen academic standards.” Graham argues that no schools, except medical…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays