Osmar’s Prevailing Argument for Project 2

As Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary points out, racial discrimination and racism against Black Americans in the United States of America stemmed from unturned cognitions about race that alievated White slave holders’ cognitive dissonance during American chattel slavery. The aforementioned cognitive dissonance consisted of the conflict between seventeenth century White Americans’ belief that the White race is superior and White Americans’ barbarous behavior toward African slaves. To erase the discrepancy between their beliefs and behaviors, White slave holders and colonizers reframed their cognition about African slaves and branded them as uncivilized, needful of the White race’s order. Since no one examined and challenged these racist cognitions during or after American chattel slavery, the vast majority of White American families over the past generations have retained these cognitions subconsciously as a result of observational learning. Since many U.S. leaders pertained to the White race, many aspects of U.S. life have disproportionately disenfranchised communities of color, especially the Black family, as exemplified with J. Marion Sim’s experiments on Black women, the Jim Crow laws, the Home Owners’ Loan Act of 1933, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Crime,” and U.S. police brutality. Both Tracy K. Smith’s “Declaration” and Maya Angelou’s “And Still I Rise” bring the unaddressed issue of U.S. racism to the forefront by utilizing their respective titles, repetition, enjambment, and the technique of apostrophe that does not refer to the punctuation mark to communicate that Black Americans continue to overcome the systemic challenges of U.S. racism in the present day.

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