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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.