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Cultural Assimilation

        Last week we read about and watched Malcolm X get his first conk. A conk is a hairstyle worn by African Americans that was popular in the mid 1900’s. The straightening of black hair is supposed to make it look more like white hair. This is just one example of how blacks attempted to assimilate into white culture. Whites were seen as superior, and they believed that if they looked more white, they would be accepted. Malcolm despised the hill people because they tried to make themselves more white, but in reality he was doing the same thing. Blacks changed their hairstyle, the way they dressed, and even the way they talked to become someone they were not. Conforming into this culture didn’t end discrimination or give them more rights. Standing up for themselves and speaking out is what helped them to gain more rights. This proves that making themselves more like their enemy did not get them anywhere. Trying to become someone others want you to be will eventually end in failure. Another example of this is with Zora Bikangaga. The students at his college believed he was Ugandan, when in reality he was an African American. He spoke in an accent and covered up his past because he thought others liked him for his culture. He couldn’t keep it up forever though, and had to come clean. His friends were shocked, and the girl he liked felt betrayed. Covering up his true self led to failure in the end. People should be who they really are and not change themselves to feel more accepted.

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2 thoughts on “Cultural Assimilation”

  1. I agree with your post in that in order to make a point on your stance on a particular issue, becoming like your enemy, as Malcolm did by getting a conk, will only lead you further into failure. In order to prevent this from occurring, you should express your differences and make them who you are instead of trying to hide them. When I was in middle school, I tended to want to be like my friends, instead of embracing what made me different. It is important when going throughout life to stand firm for what you believe in. This will eventually lead you to success.

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  2. i agree with what you said about being youself and not just trying to fit in with what is cool. expressing your differnces will help a lot more than trying to fit in when you are trying to be accepted. you can see this connection in the Zora bikangaga story, wehn he lied about who he was and put on an act his frineds did not appreciate when they found out it was only an act he was putting on just to fit in.

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