Response # 5

AnnMarie Mark


Professor Alvarez


English 255


14 May 2012


Racialization:  Examining, Race, Culture, Stereotypes and
Discrimination within the Black and Latino Community


 Racialization exists in America, but it also exists all over the world.  In this paper, I will identify the social struggles of Latinos in America and within
their native countries.  I will correlate the social struggles that are inherent in the African American community and illustrate the social construct of race.
Race links individuals to their place in society.  Latinos represent a racialized minority just as African Americans in American society. This paper will detail how skin color impacts the way Latinos classify and identify themselves.  This paper will argue the idea of “race” and how it impacts the relationship between Latinos and African Americans.  I will argue that African Americans and Latinos need to connect on a minority level to build a coalition where the two groups will work together to achieve the same opportunities as whites.  Race is a form of social nequality and this paper will demonstrate how it negatively labels different groups.

Progression or Regression

It is the year 2012 and the United States seems to still battle issues with race.  Our President is of African American and Caucasian descent, but yet classified as black only.  Why does this happen?  What about his Caucasian descent? Do we forget about it because his skin color represents a caramel color instead of a vanilla one?  The real issue here goes back to the color line that exists within the United States.  Race and color go hand in hand with each other and the fact remains that the United States does not stand alone with this issue.  Racialization exists all over the world.  It exists within the Latino community, it exists within the African American community, and in fact it exists with all minorities.  The fact remains that if you’re not considered a minority, the chances of Racialization entering your world is slim to none.

Unity of two Cultures

George Priestley’s article entitled “Ethnicity, Class, and Race in the United States: Prospects for African-American/Latino Alliances” discusses the formation and potential of Latinos/ Blacks in America to join forces to fight for the same causes.  The white race prevails over all ethnic groups in America politically, socially and economically.  African-American’s and Latinos frequently deal with unemployment, underemployment, living in an unsafe environment, lack of education, unable to attain healthcare, and high population in the prison system.  The American society reflects a divided society that consists of rich and poor along with the advantages of the “white race”.  Blacks and Latinos both strive for upward mobility, for this reason an alliance creates a commonality and unity along with achievement of major economic, political, and social issues within America.  Priestly states:

The current challenges of both groups are the product of race, class, and gender relations of the post-civil-rights era, a period characterized by massive immigration of nonwhite people […] If economic competition and immigration issues have the potential of dividing Latinos and African-Americans, these groups have a strategic list of demands that unites them. (Priestly 56)


Priestly believes that “race, class, and gender” play major roles in both minority groups.  In America today, slavery no longer exists, but “The Color Line” an article which Frederick Douglas published in 1881 detailing racial segregation still exists to a certain extent in America.  The “Color Line” suggests racial discrimination because of the color/race of a person.  Latinos and African Americans have both equally dealt with inequality in America prior to and after the “civil rights era”; an era that struggled to attain civil rights for African-Americans along with other groups.  Latinos represent a multi-cultural and multi ethnic group of people and a “color line” exists within their community as well because of the diverse backgrounds and races that incorporate the group.  As immigration increases from Latin America, Latinos and Blacks both struggle to achieve civil, economic and social stability.  Priestly believes that instead of competition between the two groups, there is catalog of “demands that unite them”.  They both require access to health care, education, jobs, affordable housing, reliable and affordable transportation, and accountability from the police (56).  Together they can be successful in accomplishing these demands. But, the groups will both have to be willing to identify with each other as one equal fighting for a common cause.




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