Diaspora by Joanne Hyppolite Essay
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After reading the short story “Diaspora” by Joanne Hyppolite, I got a vivid understanding of how diaspora can have an effect on one’s identity. Over the past month we have studied many theories and concepts concerning race, gender, and politics. There are three theories that capture the essence of Joanne Hyppolite’s worldview as a Haitian growing up in America: intersectionality, identity, and diaspora. Individuals oftentimes experience the theory of Intersectionality firsthand.
For example, being raised in a majority-white community, African-Americans can often is forced to conform to the notion that they are an insignificant fraction of a population that does not matter. They will find it easy to go unnoticed in a community with a small amount of African-Americans, or at a school where they are the only black face in their classrooms. For African-American females, this tragedy can be even more troublesome because they may be the only black female in their respected classes.
The previous paragraph serves as an illustration of Intersectionality—“The examination of race, sex, class, national origin, and sexual orientation and how their combination plays out in various settings. ” Something most individuals have a problem with is conforming to an environment in which live when they know that they are different, this result in an internal struggle with their identity. Most individuals lack a correct perspective of their outside world because of their internal struggle.
They will not examine others standpoints; this idea is known as Perspectivalism. Utilizing Perspectivalism will help understand the predicament of the intersectionality of individuals. This leads me to discuss on essentialism and anti-essentialism. Essentialzing is defined as stated in the book “…entails a search for the proper unit, or atom, for social analysis and change. ” Having multiple individuals with motivation for social change they have the power to change social views and perceptions.
But with an essentialized view it will subject others to have a certain approach towards certain minority groups, genders, and sexual orientations. The concept of intersectionality correlates to Joanne’s Hyppolite’s narrative because. Over the course of time African Americans have had a complexity with their identities. Struggling to know who they are, where the came from, and how they got to where they are, while attempting to make room to create your own identity in your community.
Imagine a small child getting icked up from pre-school, and as she climbs into the back seat she declares, ‘I want to be pink! ’ Now this child’s mother grew up down south hearing stories of marching for desegregation, she was shaped by the notion that everyone deserves the freedom to embrace being exactly who God created them to be and to expect equality. Once home, her mother asked her why she wanted to be pink. She responds, ‘because brown is ugly. ’ Curious, she pulled out colors from a box of crayons, explaining how beautiful pictures have many colors.
She explained that she was ‘brown’ like her and described how her difference afforded her unique qualities and contributions within their community as well as her school environment. How could this situation be different if her mother didn’t take affirmative action; this young African American girl could have been left with the mentality of race being ugly and her identity would have been tarnished. So what is race and how does it correlate into your identity? Most individuals have an issue with their race or defining themselves in certain categories.
As stated in the book “Racial categories are formed, transformed, destroyed, and reformed. ” Meaning that society tends to determine the reformation of racial categories, making it difficult for individuals to make connections with other individuals that look like them. This leads me to discuss racial ideologies assists with the effectiveness of the racial formation process in constructing racial identities. So in the previous example with the young girl, if she didn’t have a mother to help her appreciate her race the young girl would have not has had her own identity. Without a racial identity, one is in danger of not having an identity. ”
As stated on page 86. If one does not have an identity they will have complexity with themselves. “The concept of identity is a complex one, shaped by individual characteristics, family dynamics, historical factors and social and political contexts. ” In other words who am I? And who are you? The aspect of Identity is solely what sets you apart from others and how others view you. This young girl has the perfect opportunity to remind herself and her peers of her appearance but not only that but the gifts that she has that can attribute to society.
The word diaspora is defined at its simplest, as the dispersal of a people from its original homeland. The world is a large diaspora movement. United States is the perfect example of diaspora, a variety of ethnicities; The Melting Pot. Diaspora tends to call to attention a relationship between identity and active participation of your homeland environment- “…suggested that diaspora status is not necessarily conferred automatically based on the location of a specific community outside of the homeland, or on the fact that most of its individual.
Rather they differentiate between a symbolic ethnic identity of being and a more active identity requiring involvement. ” This quote correlates to the narrative by Joanne Hyppolite she was in household that maintain their connection with their Haitian roots. Joanne’s family spoke the language ate the food and even practiced some of the same religious views. But she did not feel a connection for she was suffering from her identity trying to conform to the environment she was living in; Boston.
Immigrant communities often attempt to promote their homeland in their new environments; Joanne’s situation could have been different if her family didn’t maintain the Haitian culture, the relationship with her homeland would have been forgotten. How exactly does diaspora correlate into political views, accommodations, culture retention, and social empowerment? It will help other realize the importance of a diaspora group’s self-awareness by others, creating a more diverse environment.
For many individuals they have relationships with their homelands while others fail to do so. In the literature piece “African Diaspora and the World” there were three theories that capture the essence of Joanne Hyppolite’s worldview as a Haitian growing up in America: intersectionality, identity, and diaspora. These theories truly reveal the conceptions of the complexity of identities some of which Joanne’s was faced with. If it weren’t for the world being a diaspora movement the world would have no diversity. Diaspora is needed.