Society and Race In The Eyes of Social Equality

The challenging life of Equiano can be seen by some as a tough and hurtful test to find something that might be impossible to find. Throughout his journey he is faced with many different obstacles to try and find happiness in the things that matter the most. Equiano states, “Thus, at the very moment I dreamed of the greatest happiness, I found myself most miserable; and it seemed as if fortune wished to give me this taste of joy only to render the reverse more poignant”, this gives us an idea of what Equiano went through during his time in discomfort. He struggles with surviving life by not having a way to leave the situation he was born into. Equiano tries to make the best of what he has but it is almost impossible to find something that is pleasing to him due to the hardships he is dealing with.

Obviously the main topic of discussion brought about from the text is the notion of race, and how it correlates to the life of Equiano. This idea of how race is seen in the eyes of the public could torment those on the lesser side of things, such as that of Equiano. Equiano was never blessed with any nature of good due to the fact of his own race and the way his physical appearance is shown to the world. I believe that race is a social construct in Equiano’s life. The reason for this is because people looked down upon those that are not seen as the better race. How can people look down upon those that are of different race and treat them as if they are scums in this world? For these people to make a judgment based off of one’s race it must in fact illustrate that of a social construct. These people are building a hierarchal pyramid solely off the concept of different races, and are putting one race above another.

When it comes to dealing with the idea of race in our society, one must not pick and choose who is in the right or wrong based off of what race they are apart of. I believe that race should not be used to determine the equality of people in our society. This notion of race should be thrown way, and people should be placed on an equalized parallel where each person is granted the same amount of opportunities to prosper in life. If everyone was equal and there was no such thing as race every one would have the chance to see all the possibilities life has to offer.

Over my life I have witnessed the social construct of people that are born into not so fortunate families become less than what they are capable of becoming. I have noticed that these people believe that they cannot achieve something great just because they are not blessed with resources to get where they want to go in life. An example of this is a child that believes they can not go to college in the future because they do not have enough money to pay for school, so what this child does is just give up on trying to become educated at a young age, or just drops out of high school. I believe the reason why this social construct happens is because these people see other people like them that do the same thing and just give up on life. This causes them to think that there will be no way for them to be blessed with the opportunity to receive a brighter future. It is all based off of their surroundings. Omi and Winant state, “Thus are we inserted in a comprehensively racialized social structure. Race becomes “common sense”-a way of comprehending, explaining, and acting in the world”, meaning that a person of a certain race will act the same as those people of a similar race. I believe that these people have influences that try to bring them down, and try to tell them that there is no way they could succeed. For this person to change their destiny, they must realize that they cannot live their life in this type of social construct. They must see that there is a brighter possibility in life than what they were first granted with.

Works Cited:


One thought on “Society and Race In The Eyes of Social Equality

  1. You did an excellent job in analyzing race as a social construct! You pulled Omi and Winant into the reading from Equiano in a way that was effective to your conclusions upon race and where it is defined in our society. Your example of where you see race socially constructed in your life also is effective and you support it with text from Omi and Winant’s Racial Formation which is great!
    Great Job!
    Grade: S

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