Posted: December 10th, 2022
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Length: 4 to 5 pages (no shorter than 4 pages and no longer than 5
pages); Full heading with name, id#, course information, upper-level
essay format writing, Times New Roman or Cambria script, 12 font, Double
spaced, 1-inch margins.
Everyone has some racial and/or ethnic heritage, which may be more
visible and/or important for some and less so for others. In this paper,
you will reflect on and write about your personal life story/stories,
or autobiography, focusing on experiences that you have had with race
and/or ethnicity. Since identities are multiple, overlapping, and
intersecting, your experiences with race might relate to other relevant
identities such as sex and gender, sexuality, class, and so on. The aim
of this assignment is not to reinforce racial/ethnic categories but to
expose hidden, or unconscious, assumptions about race and/or ethnic
groups that hinder productive intergroup interactions.
Throughout your paper, use as many specific, concrete, and detailed
examples and write about as many experiences, memories, and stories as
you can. Choose stories from your life when you were most aware of race
and/or ethnicity. Use details to try to describe and process your
thoughts and experiences as thoroughly as possible. This paper should
read like a common autobiography but with a particular focus on issues
of race and/or ethnicity. Reflect on things that have happened to you.
First, tell a story about something that has happened to you, and then
add something you learned from it. This paper is about your personal
experiences with race/ethnicity, not what you think about issues of
race/ethnicity or current racial issues of most interest. Focus on
occurrences like change, turning points, memorable moments, feelings,
conflicts, and recurring themes.
Write about specific instance that you remember as being significant
to you with regard to your race and/or ethnicity. What I am looking for
is the budding awareness, shifts, progression, or other development of
your racial/ethnic consciousness. Be specific. It helps to work and
write chronologically from the first time you remember becoming aware of
your or someone else’s race/ethnicity to the present. Below are some
guiding questions to help you start:
What are some of your first memories of becoming aware of racial/ethnic differences and your place in a racial/ethnic group?
What messages did your family communicate to you about your own race/ethnicity as you were growing up?
What messages did your family communicate to you about members of other racial/ethnic groups as you were growing up?
Does/did your family have specific traditions related to your
racial/ethnic heritage? How do you think this compares with other
families or your same race/ethnicity? How about with other families of
How, if at all, have your ideas about race/ethnicity changed through the years?
What specific world events, personal incidents, relationship with
significant others, environmental factors, media images, and so on, have
had an effect on your ideas about race, ethnicity, and racism?
What are some experiences that have made your race/ethnicity most visible to you?
Have you been subjected to discrimination based on race/ethnicity? If so, what happened?
How do you think demographic changes that are currently underway
will affect your experiences and attitudes related to race, ethnicity,
Do you think racism is becoming more of or less of a problem in the
United States? If you think it is a problem, what do you think the best
You will be graded on the depth of your reflections and on whether
you follow the directions for the assignment. Be sure to (a) meet the
page length and formatting requirements (either MLA or APA style is
fine) for the paper; (b) proofread your essay flawlessly; (c) focus on
stories, instances, and experiences, not opinions; and (d) demonstrate
careful thought in the context of things that we have been discussing in
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