Racism in our society

What did you like about the book/ what did you dislike?
How does this novel interpret the “black experience” in the 21st century? In other words, through Ifemelu’s experience of “learning what it means to be black for the first time” upon arriving in the United States, what do you think Americanah says about being “black” in the 21st century?
Also I want you to write a short comment about 3 sentances for 3 paragraph of my classmates by saying what do you agree and disagree on this paragraphs.

I will send you 3 paragraph of my classmates, and it is example of what I want you to write.

REQUIREMENTS
school write school response school Read
1)

“Americanah” is a great book. The author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, does a great job telling the story of Ifemelu. Adichie does this by starting off in America and going back in a “flashback” style in order to tell her story. This aspect of writing is something that I love about this author specifically. In her other book, “Half of a Yellow Sun”, she has the same effect by going back to flashbacks to tell a story. I read this novel a year ago and in my opinion, I enjoyed the writing of “Americanah” better. I am very impressed how this novel can be so clear when going through a series of flashbacks. Most of the time when you watch a movie or read an inexperienced author’s book, a flashback can often be confusing. Even though it is a good way to tell a story by looking through the characters eyes, it is often perceived as confusing to some.

One specific aspect that I liked about “Americanah” was the use of symbolism. Starting off in the first chapter, Ifemelu begins with getting her hair done. This is very important because it dips into the culture of African Americans. Hair is a symbol of self identity and being your own person. In the novel, I think that Adichie wanted to add this important detail in order to show the reader how she was going to change her self identity in order to conform or fit in with the white American population. In my opinion, I believe that a person should never have to change his or her looks in order to conform and fit in. Each person needs to be their own person and live their own life. Without changing are hairstyle or hair color, that individual should be able to make a life of their own. In this novel, it is almost assumed that Ifemelu is trying to fit in. By getting a fake identity in order to work in the United States, to changing her look in order to fit in with society, she is doing whatever she needs to do to fit in with the American culture.

One aspect that I did not agree with about the novel was the fact that both Ifemelu and Obinze find each other as teenagers and then they are forced to go their own ways. Obinze has to travel to England and, of course as I said above, Ifemelu travels to America. It is sad that these two have to separate in order to conform and live their own lives. Either way, this is an important part in the novel as well. At this time, both Ifemelu and Obinze are working hard to conform with society and fit in. In this time, it was hard for them to fit into society, but they tried their best by adopting American accents and changing their physical appearance. This is something that needs to change in the 21st century, blacks don’t need to change their appearance in order to fit in. They should be their own person no matter what. There have already been movements in the 21st century in order to increase the black prescense and culture and I think that is great!

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. As I said above, I really enjoy reading anything that Adichie writes. It really opens your eyes to how judgmental people are. The fact that someone has to change their physical appearance in order to fit in, that is just wrong. I would definitely recommend this book to other people.

2)

The book Americanah is a great read for people interested in what it was like to be black in the 21st century. What I really like about this book is how it starts off in present day, but the story is told in flashbacks. To me, that really helps tie the story together because it allows you to know how they are in present day, and what led them to that particular point in their life. It also helps that it involves another person. In this case, it is Obinze, which is Ifemelu’s lover. So as the book begins, Ifemelu is in America preparing for her trip back to Nigeria after 15 years. Before she leaves, she is getting her hair braided at Mariama African Hair Braiding. What I also like about this book is how the included the detail of Ifemelu getting her hair braided. It may seem like a very unimportant detail, but it paints a picture for that particular scene, and shows how the hair is a very important part of African American culture. After Ifemelu gets her hair braided, this is when the story begins to be told in a series of flashbacks. It quickly shifts over to her life living in Nigeria. This is where the story starts to pick up, in my opinion. While Ifemelu is in high school, she meets Obinze and they started dating. I can relate to this because when I was in high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, I met a girl and we also started dating. I can also relate to that because when Ifemelu moved to America, her and Obinze broke up. When I moved to USF, my girlfriend and I also broke up. After high school, both Ifemelu and Obinze plane on attending the same college in Nigeria, but due to faculty strikes, they can not do this. They both decided to move to America, but as Ifemelu moves to live with her Aunt Uju, Obinze is stuck due to travel restrictions caused by terrorism. While living in America, Ifemelu realizes just how different life is in America versus in Nigeria.

When reading this book, you just have to wonder what it was like to be black during the 21st century. No one should have to be forced to change the way they look and the way they live there lives. At the same time, things like this still happen. While the blacks have had a lot of hard times, a huge win for their community was when Barack Obama became president of the United States of America. During that time, it must have made life seem a little more easy for the black community. Not that all their problems disappeared, but it must of given them a sense that change might be coming. In recent events, the black community have been shaken to its core. Police brutality against black people seems to have become a reoccurring event. Black people are being treated as if they are always a treat, regardless of if they are or aren’t. The most recent event was a black male being shot multiple times because he had a cellphone in his hand, while officers “believed” that he had a “gun” in his hand. This just goes to show that black people in this country, and around the world, are still treated less equally then white people.

3)

Americanah was an informational book that allowed our society to learn about life as a non-american black through a non-american black’s perspective. Ifemelu went through a lot to find her place in the American society. It actually took years for her to live a comfortable lifestyle. This was disappointing to read how hard people have to work in order to live a good life and be content with themselves in our American culture.

I enjoyed seeing someone else’s life through their eyes. Each part of the book was switching back and forth to inform the audience on Ifemelu’s and Obinze’s perspectives. Both characters were in seperate countries so we as the audience could see how blacks were treated in two countries. I enjoyed the detail the author gave us in each situation so I was able to picture the scenery. I also enjoyed the love story connection between characters in the novel. It keep me engaged in the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book as a whole.

I did not enjoy the fact that Ifemelu cut off Obinze and became distant from her family. It is unfair to do this to any human and have them wonder if you are okay. For all her boyfriend knew, something disastrous could have happened to her. Something else that bothered me was the fact that this book brought to life the fact that couples or families cannot always be together when moving to another country. The laws that are in place restrict movement for people which can break up family units. There should not be any reason for one person in a family to move and not allow the rest to move with. Maybe if Ifemelu and Obinze were married it would be different, but it made me think of how many families or couples may be split up when following their educational and professional dreams to America.

Ifemelu started from the beginning of her time in America describing the differences in how people viewed her. Her hair was an issue that was talked about at multiple times throughout the book. She tried to do a relaxer to conform with the American ideals of straight flowy hair not kinky African hair. This resulted in her hair actually falling out and her scalp was badly damaged with sores. From their she chopped it all off and grew it out. Eventually she had an afro which she embraced and then at some point she got braids.She was told that if she did not fix her kinky hair she may not get a job or people will not take her seriously. She actually felt she needed to change her appearance to conform to our society. This got me thinking of how blacks are treated in society today. America is a melting pot and everyone knows that. People come here for the “American Dream.” As the melting pot in the world, you would think we, as a whole, would be better with the racism. American society is filled with racism. Americanah is written in the 21st century, which allows Ifemelu to illustrate her experiences in areas the recent audience can relate to. This novel further illustrates the racism problem we have today.

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