Color Consciousness And Racial Prejudice

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Color consciousness is based on color especially to recover blacks from color and racial prejudice which is deeply practicing in American society. The chapter is mainly focuses on McKay’s first novel Home to Harlem. Through the chapter readers can realize how the blacks are rediscovering their identity through the color of primitivism. Primitivism is also based on color both are interrelated. Similarly the chapter explore the color pride like black, chocolate-to-the-bone, teasing-brown, potato-yellow, nut-brown, lemon, maroon, olive, mauve, gold, cork-brown, coffee- colored brown, and cocoa-brown are some of the adjectives used to describe “colored” people. McKay used the color of objects in the novel to show the values of their predecessors. For instance, lemon, chocolate, nut brown and olive these objects are to refer their state of living and it would never change; but whites felt that the blacks are “uncivilized. ”Marianna Torgovnick’s Gone Primitive states that “western culture creates different versions of the primitive according to its own needs and in order to overcome its own obsessions” (Torgovnick 18).

The term primitivism has varied historically in their intellectual usage and inflection across the disciplines. In its broadest sense, primitivism is an interest in or study of societies and cultures that have an ostensibly less developed notion of technological, intellectual, or social progress. Primitive societies defined thus are those that have not progressed to a state of technological advancement and are therefore perceived as antecedent to the industrialized economies of the West.

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The concept color consciousness is a term used in understanding the complex dimensions of race in society. As an example, St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton’s Black Metropolis (1970) highlighted the significance of the “race man” in the Bronzeville section of Chicago. Race men and women were individuals who sawn themselves as proud of their race and who engaged in activities to both enhance racial pride and to advance the race in the social hierarchy. The race man concept used by Drake and Caytonhelped to observe how race consciousness permeated the lives of black Chicagoans, particularly how this consciousness led to racial solidarity. This consciousness, however, was a direct acknowledgment of their racial status as black Chicagoans saw themselves; a status that was subjected to structural forces that emanated from the Jim Crow system in which they lived. As racial solidarity was one of the consequences of racial consciousness, black leaders sought to harness black discontentment in order to advance economic and political objectives.

As Drake and Cayton (1970) illustrate, the collective acknowledgment of a group’s racial—or color—position is relative to the dominant power structure that positions whiteness at the center of that structure. As part of the critical race theory movement emanating from the legal field in the 1980s, the concept of color consciousness scrambles and upsets the status quo position toward understanding inequality. Indeed, color consciousness forces us to revisit group relations and interactions from the vantage point of the multiple power structures created and sustained on white privilege as can be seen, experienced, and analyzed in various social institutions. However, rather than focusing solely on static institutions, political scientists highlight the importance of “racial institutional orders,” which focus on how institutions are shaped, racially, by the racial ideologies of the coalitions and special interest groups that create and maintain them.

Sociological research makes a major contribution in this area by acknowledging how racism is practiced overtly at individual levels; sociological research also advances knowledge in this area by tracing and demonstrating the ways in which race, as a dynamic process, is intricately linked to political struggles. Additionally, sociological research highlights the cultural elements of race and links them to important structural societal dimensions.

One of the most prominent views of color and that color is an objective, i.e., mind-independent, intrinsic property, one possessed by many material objects and light sources. This view, call it Color Objectivism, takes different forms, however. One form it takes is that colors are simple qualities, which show their natures on their face: they are unique, simple, qualitative, sensuous, intrinsic, irreducible properties. This view has come to be called “Color Primitivism.”

One of the major problems with color has to do with fitting what it seems to know about colors into the physical bodies and their qualities. It is the problem thathistorically has led the major physicists who have thought about color, to hold the view that physical objects do not actually have the colors it’s ordinarily and naturally take objects to possess. Oceans and skies are not blue in the way that the naively think, nor are apples red, (nor green). Colors of that kind, it is believed, have no place in the physical account of the world that has developed from the sixteenth century to this century.

The problems of black Americans remained only of a peripheral concern for the government during the New Deal. The New Deal agencies such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the National Industry Recovery Act did not really protect Blacks as most of their jobs were not even covered by wage and hour agreements. Despite this, the Blacks had an unusual affection and admiration for the White House. This was because they felt grateful for the limited benefits received by them.

Once they had achieved freedom, Blacks developed an appetite for learning: By 1870, the Freedom’s Bureau had spent some five million dollars on education of the Blacks. A number of ‘Negro Colleges’ were soon established to prepare Blacks for jobs in an industrial society. Some of the institutions are, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia, Fisk University in Nashville, Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The Atlanta University, and (5) Taskegee Institute.

The leading Negro educator in the post-civil war period was Booker T.Washington, a former slave. The black schools were grossly inferior. They usually lacked well trained teachers and any equipment that cost money. It may be recalled that at the turn of the century, the illiteracy rate among Blacks continued high.


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