Assimilation the Risk of Losing Culture and Identity Essay

Blacks should not assimilate with the popular dominant culture but instead maintain their own sense of cultural heritage. The black person who makes the choice to integrate into the dominating culture really must be honest with his or her self and admit that all their pronouncements of concern for the welfare of the black community take a backseat to their personal desire to assimilate.

These black people are more of a role model to other black people on how to assimilate or integrate into the colorless and racially generic whole of American culture that just so happens to be controlled and dominated from the white community.

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Although it may sound wonderful to hear someone say that they don’t notice people’s skin color, reality says that people notice color all the time. The pressure placed on blacks by the dominant culture forces them to move toward assimilation hooks urges. ell hooks states that “One of the most tragic manifestations of the pressure black people feel to assimilate is expressed in the internalization of racist perspectives” (227).

Young blacks need to realize that conforming to the dominant culture is not necessary to exist within it. hooks says that “It is crucial that those among us who resist and rebel, who survive and succeed, speak openly and honestly about our lives and the nature of our personal struggles” (221).

In order to resist assimilation black people as a hold need to be more open and honest about the struggles that take place striving for education and success, those who have blazed the trail need to reach back and help those striving to get there. An excellent job is done by hooks in getting the point across about assimilations effects, and also gives those who have chosen to assimilate something to think about, what cost is one willing to pay, is one willing to break family ties and friendship because of the pressure from the dominant culture to assimilate.

The pressures of trying to maintain family and community ties and succeeding in life are difficult, these issues gives us some groundwork to fix some of the problems. While it is difficult to achieve education and success while keeping community ties it is possible, hooks says that “The most powerful resource anyone can have to study and teach in university settings is full understanding and appreciation of the richness, beauty, and primacy of our familial and community backgrounds” (228). ooks has some very valid points, everyone has to look at them and put them into perspective on how it can fit into their lives. There is not one right answer or solution to this problem, everyone has to search within to find a solution, but those whom have traveled on this road less taken have an obligation to teach those who follow. It is imperative to let the youth know that their struggles for identity and success or not in vein and show them that they are appreciated within the community.

Without the bounding and nourishment needed to continue the ties, youth will continue to choose to assimilate and take the easy road with less pressure and headaches to deal with. Blacks could better serve the community by assimilating to the dominant culture forces, the melting-pot theory. This view is advantageous to both a government and its people. It is believed that the nation has reached its present state of development because it has been able to forge one national identity.

Separating citizens by ethnicity or race and providing special privileges to Blacks can be harmful, where assimilation tends to put everyone on an even playing field. By keeping ties to community and family Blacks draw attention to differences and the dominant culture fosters resentment towards their culture. Blacks in society that make a full effort to be incorporated into the mainstream naturally reciprocate the benefits and approval from mainstream America. Blacks become successful by shedding their cultural heritage and adopting the ways of the popular dominant culture.

Typically Blacks absorbed by the ways of the host society, while loosening to varying degrees their connection to their native culture become highly successful. Through this process Blacks are accepted into society and become a part of the dominant culture and national unity is retained. Works Cited: Assimilation: Does it hurt Black people? (2007) Retrieved on 2/10/2008, from www. topix. com/forum/afam/TPIKF7CB1VN57ONEJ Bell Hooks (2000), Where We Stand: Class Matters, By Routledge

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