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NOT DEFINED BY RACE
Being black in a multiracial nation means something different in 2005 from what it did in the civil rights turmoil of 1960s America, says Philip Green. Aggressive and subtle shades of discrimination and stereotyping persist, between and within racial groups. Yet this writer sees positive change under way — in his own maturing views on race, and in the way people in general view racial identity and skin color. Change happens, Philip Green says, "one improved thought at a time," and he believes that the agent of real change is spiritual, the spirituality that "reveals what we are, individually, as God's children."
I grew up trying to integrate myself into two cultures, the black culture of my fellow African Americans in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, and the predominantly white or Caucasian culture that I experienced by attending a high school in Lexington, Massachusetts, a western suburb of Boston.
There were times when other black kids in my neighborhood would pick on me for not dressing or talking a certain way. They said I wasn't "black enough." If you sounded too educated, had good grades, didn't play a sport really well, you weren't treated in a positive way. I lost some friendships because I was looked at in a certain way within the culture. It's really a mental outlook issue, and I was just beginning to learn how to define myself spiritually, and how to defend myself mentally.
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
About the author
Philip Green works in the Community Safety Office at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.
We shall overcome
with contributions from Margaret Wylie, Donald A. Wesley, Jean Lewis, Carol Bonderud, Maria Giacco, Julie Walson
ITEMS of INTEREST
with contributions from Judy Carman, Ashley Hink, Joe Woodard
WORLDWIDE CRISIS: PRAYERS NEEDED
ESCAPED CHILD SLAVE FRANCIS BOK
By Warren Bolon
DOORWAY TO FREEDOM
IN DEFIANCE OF UNJUST LAWS
NOT DEFINED BY RACE
By Philip Green
By Marilyn Jones
Freedom: A continuing journey
By Rosalie E. Dunbar
No excuse for silence
By Phil Davis
Spiritual treatment ends toothache
Eileen Hahn Rees
'A change in human belief'
Jürgen Vogt with contributions from Ken Girard