1. I strongly agree with Winona and Priya's beliefs on the roles of race, especially in America. Growing up, there were some things that I heard, that never really occurred to me to be labeled as racist. Internalized racism is something that I have just become aware of in the past couple of years. Recently, issues in America have opened my eyes to a world of problems that I was too privileged to understand. The United States was built primarily on the ideas of white supremacy, and that has carried into 2021 where there is still systemic and institutionalized racism everywhere. I think their assumptions are correct because race is the basis of America and it affects everyone's lives, whether they know it or not.
1) The first person whose story stuck out to me was Justin's. Justin grew up on the southwest side of Chicago, which is primarily Latino, and has a twin brother. He described his school life and how in his elementary and middle schools him and his brother were always the smartest kids. He describes how at school everyone, especially the teachers, would pay close attention to him because they knew him as a "well spoken Latino". He also describes how living in the southwest side of Chicago has affected how other people, mostly kids at his school, see him. I think that Justin story is an important example of systemic racism, because of going to school with rich, white kids, Justin realized his social inequalities more. For example, richer kids would ask him things like "do you ever hear gunshots?". I think that Justin's story is important because he describes his life and how institutional and systemic racism have affected his life in school.
2) The first sentence in Justin E.'s story had me hooked immediately. In his passage, he describes how he defined himself through his ancestors being part of the slave trade. When he went to Senegal, he learned more about the slave trade and how it does not define the people of Senegal, it is just another part of their history. I think that something that is noteworthy from his text is the phrase "The oppressed shouldn't have to do it all. The oppressor needs to help out." This sentence is short but powerful. I've noticed in life today, it's mostly black people talking about racism, and white people responding with something along the lines of "Well, I am not racist, so...". This sentence is representative of life in America today because it is true. White people do not do a good enough job of supporting people of color, and Justin touches upon that and how categorized America is.
3) The stories of Riley, Parker, and Marley were extremely eye opening about American views towards Hawaiians. The girls talked about their experiences living in Hawaii, and how people would stereotype them by asking them questions like "do you wear a coconut bra?" or "do you ride a dolphin to school?". I think that their stories are significant especially to American culture because Hawaii is labeled a part of the United States, when it shouldn't be. Until recently, it never dawned on me how Hawaii probably never wanted to "join" with the States. I also never considered Hawaiians as indigenous people, because I always categorized them as Americans. I think their story is important because it allows for more people, especially me, to understand the hardships Hawaiians have faced by being a part of America.
1) In Vic's story, there is a footnote that goes more into detail about the history of Chinatowns. It explains how Asians were discriminated against in America, and many Asians banded together to create communities that allowed them to survive. These communities were called Chinatown. This is important to me because I never knew the history of the word Chinatown. I know Chinatown as a stop on the Orange Line, but I never knew it had a significant meaning, and I also didn't know why almost every city had one. I think more people should know about this so they can be educated more on the topic and gain a better understanding of the significance behind a major area in their city.
2) In Liz's story, she talks about how she normally travels alone, and there is a footnote that talks about hair care products in hotels. When I think about traveling, hair care is one of the last things I think about. Yet, for other people, especially Black women, that is an important aspect of their trip. The footnote talks about how almost all hair care products do not comply with Black hair. I've never experienced a situation like this, nor have I thought about other people having to either. I think this comment is important because it is a simple way for people, especially white people, to understand privileges that they have that Black people do not.
4. So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think it is an easy and relatable way for people to understand the importance race has on identities in America. Reading this chapter was a great way to understand how many people of different races and ethnicities feel while living in America, and how much privilege and white supremacy exist today. Listening to other people's stories allows me to put myself in their shoes and listen to their stories, so I can understand what they've experienced and how they feel.