Sean Rudden Mrs.

 Hatanaka English IV, Per. 3 3 January 2018  Social classes are the divisions in society with differences in social and economic status. By definition, “race is each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics”. Though technically it is a group that shares certain characteristics, people mostly think of race as the color of your skin. Ethnicity refers to one’s state of “belonging to a social group that has a common cultural tradition, religion, language, and of the like”. Nationality goes into the “status of belonging to a particular nation either by birth or immigration”. These are the three things that affect social class the most.

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 Race  Black and white are the colors most often referred to when discussing race. While racial segregation has declined, it is still very high. Cities tend to be divided by race.

 80% of zip codes are homogeneous, meaning that most areas are similar in race in many major metropolitan areas, with one million residents or more (Kent , 1). This is due to income and economics.  This is important to note, because certain races make a predetermined amount of money.  Black people tend to reside in the center of the city while whites reside in the outskirts of the city or the suburbs. A third of the residents in these metro areas are segregated from other racial groups.

Federal housing policies starting in the 1930’s have created racial segregation in cities by purposely excluding affordable housing options in some areas. Black home ownership is less than 40% compared to 70% in white neighborhoods. This leads to a breakdown in race and societal relationships.  Whites tend to have a higher education level then blacks.

The 2000 census showed, that 72% of blacks had a high school diploma or greater, compared to 85.5% for whites. (n, article) only 14% of blacks have bachelor’s degrees, compared to whites at 25%. (n, article) Whites also tend to have higher paying management or professional jobs than blacks. Blacks tend to get lower paying sales and office jobs. This seems to set stereotypes for people of different races.

Poverty will get worse and worse as this stereotype continues to grow. In most major metro cities, in the black neighborhoods unemployment averages about two times that of white neighborhoods. In the same cities whites have higher income levels than the black neighborhoods. This contributes to the expanding racial segregation.  There are several ideas to close the black and white education gap. (n, article) “The success of the school must become the success of the community”.

(n, article) Community leaders, schools, and parents must collaborate to make this a goal. (n, article) Public policies and legislation should support teachers and students who set high standards and obtainable goals. (n, article) It might be helpful for children of color to have black teachers so that they have someone to relate to and share their cultural heritage. It is obvious that more funding and resources provided to predominantly black schools would greatly close the education gap between blacks and whites. Interracial marriage has become much more common place and widely accepted in society over the last 40 years.

(Rogers) Not very long ago, interracial marriage was outlawed in some states. The attitude towards interracial marriage has changed and today interracial couples, while not completely and fully accepted, are not always condemned, there are still cultural difficulties that interracial couples face but that our society has become more accepting and is more common to see interracial couples. (Rogers) Christian leader, Dr. James T. Jeremiah says, “Race is a creation and gift of god, there is nothing in Scripture suggesting, much less mandating, interracial dating or marriage be considered morally suspect or condemned; those who choose to date and especially those who choose marry interracially should carefully evaluate social attitudes because, wrong or right, they cannot be controlled and the couple must know how it will respond; and Christians should relate to each human being, regardless of race or ethnicity as people made in the image of God”.

(Roger) Eventually, interracial dating and marriage could become completely acceptable in American society. Racial stereotypes are historical but still exist in today’s society. (Green) They contribute to shaping attitudes about race. (Green) The stereotype of Sambo in early American history was of a simple minded and docile black male. (Green) During slavery the character was of a happy slave. (Green) He was often seen as lazy and dependent on his master.

(Green) This was used to justify slavery. (Green) This stereotype was used in music, children’s stories, written materials, and even a restaurant as late as the 1960s. (Green) The image of a fat grinning and wide eyed black man was perpetuated for centuries.

(Green)  Jim Crow was another stereotypical black character that started the black faced minstrel performers. (Green) Black face was a dance-and-comedy routine that depicted an old, crippled black man in a shuffling dance. (Green) White actors would blacken their face, grossly exaggerate their lips in white and wear black wigs while performing.

(Green) Around the time of the civil war, as many as 30 black face minstrel companies performed across the nation. (Green) The stereotype of African Americans as buffoons permeated society. (Green)  The horrifying stereotype of the “Black Savage” was featured in the new medium of silent movies. (Green) In 1915, the movie “The Nigger” was released, it contained this new stereotype. (Green) Now the black man was depicted as a savage. (Green) Blacks were believed to be inferior, mentally and physically, and ape like. (Green) Theodore Roosevelt publicly stated that “As a race and in the mass the Negroes are all together inferior to whites”. (Green) This thought that blacks were savages was so ingrained in society that the Ringling Brothers circus featured a black man in a cage with a female chimpanzee that could wash clothes and hang them on a line.

(Green)  One female black stereotype is the Mammy, the most well-known mammy was played by Hattie McDaniel in “Gone with the Wind”. (Green) She is depicted as a large woman, very dark-skinned wearing drab dress and head scarf. (Green) She is devoted to serving her masters. (Green) Seen as harmless, she dominated her family, which proved a black man’s inferiority to whites. (Green) Because she was obese, matronly figure, she was not threatening to white people.