“Becoming” Article Reviews Example
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The essay, “Becoming” by Anita Darcel Taylor explores how a young black girl in a suburb of New York comes of age in the tumultuous times of the late 60’s and 70’s. As Anita matures her observations of both racial and feminine equality are strongly shaped by her family and their attitudes. She is a quiet and thoughtful girl.
The essay begins with her describing her friendship with a white girl named Jackie. Jackie is a bookworm and content to be in her own company. Over the course of their six years in elementary school, the girls develop a close friendship. It is a positive relationship that grows over time until Anita begins to avoid and ignore Jackie in junior high school. The girls shared a love of reading and Jackie’s family is inviting and hospitable to Anita. Anita ends the relationship when a black girlfriend of her older brother questions Anita’s friendship with a white girl. Anita thinks by ending her friendship with Jackie, she will begin hanging out with the older black girls, this does not happen. Anita is shameful of the way she ended the friendship and realizes that real friends have no color.
Later she and a boy are watching a feminist rally where women are burning their bras. The women are white. When the boy asks if she will burn her bra as well, Anita responds, “Do you have any idea how much my pays for these things?” (Makhijani 25) This is clearly a common sense reflection that the women at the rally are wealthier than Anita. They have the time to attend the rally because they do not work, and the cost of a bra is meaningless to them. Anita also notes that she and the bot are the only blacks at the rally. She comments that all black women work which is why they don’t have time or need for a feminist rally.
The boy takes her to his home where she meets his mother, Audrey Harvey. Audrey is a black woman who is proud of her Afro, she believes and fights for racial equality. She is well read and intelligent. Anita strikes a friendship with her over the next few years. Anita does not describe the friendship in detail, but Audrey’s influence is clearly seen in the end of the essay. Before departing for college, Anita shaves her head and frees herself from the bondage of her black hair that constantly needs to be styled and maintained to be more like a white woman’s.
I attended a school where everyone was like me. It wasn’t until I moved to an urban area where my class became a tossed salad of ethnicities and cultures. What I learned from this mosaic of friends and classmates could not be taught in a class or from a book. This experience had made me a much more open and tolerant person today.
Makhijani, P.(Ed) (2004) Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America. Seal Press: Emeryville, CA.
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