Alice Walker Review Essay Research Paper Courtney

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Alice Walker Review Essay, Research Paper Courtney Smith Final Paper 5/11/2000 Alice Walker, in a short story called Advancing Luna- and Ida B. Wells, reflects back on her life to a friendship she had with a white girl in the sixties. She does so in a approach to which she justifies herself and her actions with still a sense of uncertainty. Through her language and descriptions it is clear that Walker is still struggling with the structure to which this friendship relied. She tells of her relationship with Luna in a state of confusion, searching for answers and yearning for closure. While reading Walkers piece I felt an immediate connection. It was the end of the second paragraph that caught my attention most abruptly. Walker wrote, ?she assumed of course (I guess) that I did

not wish to ride with her because she was white?yet I was struck by her passivity, her patience as she sat on the truck alone and ignored??(86). This passage caught my attention because it was something that I could relate to on a personal basis. If I were Luna in that situation I may have thought my whiteness the reason Alice Walker would not ride with me. More so though I realized that I often am conscious of the fact that people might assume my actions to be racially motivated when they are not. Racial consciousness is something that develops in a person or group over time. As it develops, they become more assuming and more aware of interracial interaction. If you are not aware of racial discrimination you tend to overlook it and/or ignore it. Although it is not always the

fault of the person but rather ignorance, racial consciousness is a behavior that needs to be learned. Maybe someday it will be automatic or irrelevant but in order to progress it is necessary in today?s society. Becoming race conscious is not an easy task per-say, in fact, it takes a great deal of time and effort and you never really stop learning. For me it took at least a year if not two living as the minority on a hall in boarding school. It took building friendships very slowly and cautiously. Patiently and passively earning trust by listening, learning, and sympathizing. I knew my role right away in that I was the minority, but it wasn?t so immediate that I felt it. I assumed as did Walker in the story. I assumed that we would all get along, hang out, bond, and be friends.

And, we did, we were all great friends by the end of the year. It took me realizing what exactly whiteness meant, understanding white privilege and not being ashamed, hearing stories of prejudice or ignorance without being offended, learning the culture as a guest, and understanding the difference in ?whites as a race? and ?me as white?. I had for once the feelings that ?minority? creates everyday. The fear of rejection and hatred based on my race. I had never felt those feelings because I grew up in white suburbia. I was so curious but yet had to be so patient to earn that bond. In reading about Luna I felt as though I knew exactly what she was feeling and could expand so much on the portrayals that Walker gives. The feelings she had towards herself and her race; ashamed,

disgust, hatred, and even guilt. Embarrassed for being white and having white privilege; confused because I didn?t ask for it and I didn?t want it to be such an issue. The more I learned though, the more I understood. After a while I could speak freely and I was confident that I could ask questions without being seen as offensive but genuinely curious and concerned. I wanted to learn as much as I could about cultures other than mine and push harder and harder for equality. The more I learned the more comfortable I became with speaking about racial issues, I became more aware of racial conflict and more concerned with putting an end to it. In this short story I saw a lot of myself and my feelings in Luna. I felt that I could explain in more depth the reasons she hated her mother;