Racism has plagues humanity with its adverse effects to the very individuals who are being mistreated and marginalized. Paul Laurence Dunbar in his poem entitled, “We Wear the Mask,” artistically describes the situation of the African-Americans during the Harlem Renaissance period when the white European American considers them an inferior race. Tamar Jacoby in her article entitled, “Someone else's house: America's unfinished struggle for integration,” shed more light on Dunbar’s poem by giving details on how the African-Americans responded to the racism which they have experienced during the aforementioned period. Jacoby argues that the African Americans of the 1960s, as well as the majority of their race today, are forced into hypocrisy and self-concealment – to which I humbly submit.
The article focused on Coleman Young, a popular black leader, who advocated integration by explicitly stating that it is okay for African Americans to be inferior to the White Americans. According to Jacoby, this advocacy by Young is simply an “affront” – an act of hypocrisy against the White Americans who held the highest political powers and influence over the majority of the America populace. Dunbar wrote similar description as to what African American’s had to do in order to preserve their lives, he says, “We wear the mask that grins and lies” and “let them only see us, while we wear the mask” (Dunbar). The article points our further that racial divide persists until now and this is the reason why integration in the US has never been successful. In my opinion, Jacoby made a strong point in implying that the root of the inefficiency of the integration efforts is racism. Just like what Dunbar wrote, racism results to the people wearing masks. When people do not show who they really are, and do not develop into what they should be – never reaching their God-given potentials – integration will never be possible.
In conclusion, the pieces of work, present the disturbing effects of racism to the individuals and the society. We must stop racism; we must successfully integrate for us to leave happy, meaningful lives.
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. We Wear the Mask. 1896. Web. 23 July 2014. <http://www.potw.org/archive/potw8.html>.
Jacoby, Tamar. Someone else's house: America's unfinished struggle for integration. 1998. Web. 23 July 2014. <http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.libproxy.db.erau.edu/docview/201084965?pq-origsite=summon>.