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Together In The Cafeteria Essay, Research Paper

Why are all the black childs sitting together in the cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum Ph.D. is a book of many topics, theories, thoughts, every bit good as sentiments that are discussed, challenged and criticized. Are we free from racism? Why, are all the black childs sitting together in the cafeteria? These inquiries I hope to reply for myself and for others.

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One of Beverly Tatum s major subjects of treatment is racial individuality. Racial individuality is the intending each of us has constructed or is building about what it means to be a white individual or a individual of colour in a race-conscious society. ( Tatum, pp Seventeen ) She talks about how many parents hesitate to speak to their kids about racism because of embarrassment and the clumsiness of the topic. I agree with her when she says that parents don T want to speak about racism when they don t see a job. They don t want to make fright or racism where none may be. It is huffy topic because if non gone approximately right, you can possibly maneuver person the incorrect manner. Another theory she has on racial individuality is that other people are the mirror in which we see ourselves. ( tatum pp18 ) The parts of our individuality that do capture our attending are those that other people notice, and that reflects back to us. ( Tatum pp21 ) What she means by this is that what other people tell us we are similar is what we believe. If you are told you are stupid plenty you might get down to oppugn your intelligence. When people are seeking for their individuality usually the inquiries who am I now? Who was I before? and who will I go are the first that come to mind. When a individual starts to reply these inquiries their replies will act upon their beliefs, type of work, where they may populate, spouses, every bit good as ethical motives. She besides mentions an experiment where she asked her pupils to depict themselves in 60 seconds. Most used descriptive words like friendly, shy, intelligent, but pupils of colour normally province there racial or cultural group, while white pupils seldom, if of all time reference that they are white. Womans normally mention that they are female while males normally don t think to state that they are males. The same state of affairs appeared to take topographic point when the subject of spiritual beliefs came up. The Judaic pupils mentioned being Jewish, while the Protestant and Catholics seldom references being so. These responses all led to one common land. They are all illustrations of groups who are seen as more dominant or of a more advantaged societal group non adverting so. They don t seem to believe that they belong to a more dominant or advantaged group than the others so why reference it.

She goes on about Affirmative action in the workplace and the positions and sentiments of all different sorts of people. Tatum believes in Affirmative action because of the many brushs and experiences she had informant and encountered. She goes on to state, Affirmative action is needed to decrease prejudice in the paid labour force because affirmatory action is the lone legal redress in the United States for favoritism that does non necessitate the victims ( or person with a interest in their public assistance ) to detect their status and come frontward with a grudge on their ain behalf. ( Tatum pp 123 )

In my sentiment Affirmative action is a touchy topic, merely like abortion. There are topographic points where it should belong and put it shouldn t. I think it should be implemented in topographic points of concern where needed. For illustration if two campaigners for a place are interviewed for a occupation and one happens to be white and the other black, and the black campaigner is evidently more qualified for the occupation but doesn T get the occupation so that

is a topographic point where Affirmative action needs to b added to the system. It is sad that something like Affirmative action even had to be thought of but it is a world that racism still exists and likely will go on to be unless something is done to get rid of it. I think she makes a good point about Affirmative action but needs to reconsider when stating it is needed about everyplace.

The last point I will discourse is the point she makes of certain footings being misused, footings that she has heard directed towards her every bit good as others. Tatum thinks that the universe is incorrect for utilizing derogatory every bit good as slang footings, which may be violative to other cultural, spiritual, or any group for that affair. She states that she prefers the name Black as opposed to the name African American. I refer to people of acknowledged African Descent as Black The term is more inclusive than African American because there are Black people in the United States who are non African American Afro-Caribbean s, for example-yet are targeted by racism, and are identified as Black. ( Tatum pp 15 ) Her ground for this is that people that are for illustration Afro-Caribbean s are non African Americans but would likely be classified as so.

I do agree with her on this. I think that people should be called and recognized as they wish. Although like she besides stated, different people prefer different names for their cultural group so how are you supposed to cognize what to mention person by who you haven t even gotten to cognize.

In decision I would wish to state that this book has opened a new manner of thought to me. Almost, I would state a new position on a twosome of my positions about racism. The book kept me thought, Was I right making this, should I say that, or is what I do everyday ok? I am glad I read this book because I now have a better apprehension of racism, why it happens and when and where it comes up. As I asked myself before are we free from racism? , I think non. Why are all the black childs sitting together in the cafeteria? I still do non cognize. But what I do cognize is that things do necessitate to alter is this great universe of ours so that everyone can go comfy with there race, faith, cultural back unit of ammunition and merely field who they are. As Gandhi one time said, Wee need to be the alteration we want to see happen. We are the leaders we have been waiting for. ( Tatum pp Xi )


Beverly Daniel Tatum ; Why Are All the Black Kids Siting Together in the Cafeteria ; Basic Books, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299 ; & # 227 ; 1997


1 ) Why does she look like a racialist herself? : She ever is speaking about how white people benefit so much from things they don t even realize they benefit from. Well how about all the particular groups and organisations that are set up merely for black people. I think she should take another expression at our society before she says that white benefit so trememdously. I am non stating Whites do non profit more but she truly, truly drills this sentiment and I disagree.

2 ) She seems like she is stating everyone they manner they should believe: I don t get why she is so hung up on stating people who they should name what, and what they should make about it. Half of her book is about allowing people feel free to be who they are, being proud of 1s back unit of ammunition, and holding a head of your ain and believing for yourself.

3 ) Why does she believe so much in Affirmative action? : If Affirmative action was to be implamented so white people would be discriminated merely because they were white. If she is seeking to get rid of racism, doing racism towards another race International Relations and Security Network T work outing the job.