Stereotypes In William Raspberry's Black-By Definition

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William Raspberry began writing for the Washington Post in 1962, and by 1966 he had his own column called “Potomac Watch”. In 1994 he won the Pulitzer Prize for said column. His essay titled “Black—By Definition” was first published in 1982 and it focuses on how the color of a person’s skin defines certain qualities. In his essay, William Raspberry writes about the black and white stereotypes, what they do, and a way to help young black children truly find who they really are through the guidance of their parents. When it comes down to definition, Raspberry portrays the idea that both black and white have good and bad stereotypes, which are more greatly emphasized by how a child sees it. By telling a person that they perform “black”, they take it as a compliment (195). On the other side, if a reporter were to be told that they sound “black”, they would sign up for a course on writing (196). Then, when it comes to a “black” child in Elementary school, who works hard in class, they’re told that they are “white” and so they stop trying. Getting and education and using correct English are both considered “white”, and commonly used as put downs between “black” children…show more content…
Raspberry does not argue that black people are not often the better entertainer, but he believes that it gives a limited “definition” of what “black” is (196). The idea is that there is more to black people than what society has them believe, even if that is what a black child is always told. With the example that a black child is surrounded by the idea that they can play basketball well they will “assume they can learn to do it well, and so they practice constantly to prove themselves right” (196). But Raspberry proclaims the idea that it would be exciting if a child is raised being told that being good at math and grammar is “black” and not just “white”

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