Ethnographyof Personal Community
Being a resident of South Houston, I feel proud to stay in myneighborhood. South Houston is a great place to live, since there aremany shops and restaurants. South Houston is a secure place to live,many tourists who come to visit the area are welcomed in theserestaurants and others are welcomed by my neighbors for freeaccommodation. This paper aims to analyze my community, LatinAmerican. Notably, it will analyze the social constructs of race andclass. In additionally, it will reflect according to the secondarysources that are going to be indicated and lastly, it will conduct aninterview involving Latin American.
It is worth noting that my city has been nicknamed as “City Space”,as there are two centers for space institutions, which are Lyndon B.Johnson Space as well as NASA. Additionally, Space Center Houston haslots of interactive shows, such as shuttle simulator and moon rocks.In addition, visitors get a chance of presentation that depicts thehistory of NASA. The picture below is Cockrell Butterfly Area,Houston Museum of Natural Science, where thousands of visitorshabitually jaunt every year:
Apart from “space” visit, South Houston is home to lots ofparks, such as Houston Zoo, Hermann Park and Memorial Park amongothers. These parks attract thousands of people around the world aswell as domestic tourist who spend their vacation time here.
The above images are Hermann Park, where visitors are enjoyingnatural climate and tranquillity
The well constructed buildings are used by entrepreneurs to conductbusinesses, for instance, the grocery stores are very important inSouth Houston, since we always buy food from the groceries.
My neighbors are very friendly and I always associate with them invarious issues. In South Houston, I always use my free time to read,since there is a big library that is used by different ethniccommunities. There are a number of schools in South Houston such asWalter Matthys Elementary School, L.F. Smith Elementary School, PearlHall Elementary School and South Houston Intermediate School amongothers, which offer basic education to different ethnic communities.
I like the place since we work together with my neighbors and we havegood relationship. There are many ethnic communities, such as AfricanAmericans and Asian among other. It is worth noting that, in SouthHouston, we celebrate other communities’ culture as a way of union.For example, the African Americans are the third largest ethniccommunity in the United States. Initially, they were known as Negrosbased on that many of them were slaves and that is how they got inthe United States. Being the descendants of slaves, they worked formany years without pay and under poor conditions. The AfricanAmericans were forced to work in various plantations such as incoffee and cotton plantations and they were supervised by theirmasters in their New World. The rights of African Americans werelimited and they were denied their share in economic, social and evenin the political progress. With time the African Americans madevarious contributions on the American culture, since it is ademocratic country that allow and believes on human right acts.African Americans are people who were considered as energetic andthey were capable of working throughout the day without gettingtired. They could even work for a whole day without food and water,since in their mother countries, they could not get food to eat, andthus, they can withstand starvation. The African Americans were notaffected by change of climate since they were resistant to diseaseslike malaria that killed Caucasians. They could not survive if theywere not subjected to hard labor. After the African Americans enteredinto the United States, it was realized that it was not the case andAfricans were just like the other human beings. African Americanswent through lots of struggles before gaining civil right here in theUnited State. They were taken from different parts of West Africa byforce, and brought to the here in the United State to work asslavery. Consequently, they started fighting for their rights throughcivil rights movements, where they eventually gain their autonomous,and as a result, we always cerebrate with them during this day.
It is worth noting that when the United States was founded, theblacks were not freed from the bondage of slavery, since this wastime there was civil war and slaves were not allowed to go to theirrespective countries. The blacks were inferior and they were secondclass individuals, since the white were considered as masters of theslaves. During the 1970s, naturalization allowed Americans to be theonly citizens who were registered and thus the white men had theright to acquire property and vote. Racial segregation was notallowed when the United States embraced democracy, and thus, variousrights were guaranteed for the African Americans (Arsenault 15). In2008, the first African American was elected as the president ofUnited States an indication that racial segregation was eliminated inthe society. This is why my community is always proud to beassociated with African Americans, and we portray this by celebratingtheir freedom with them.
It is alsoworth noting that, when the United States was foundeddemocracy was the order of the day, and thus, any immigrants who werein United States had the right to own property, get quality educationlike their fellow White Americans and even vote for their preferredcandidates. The upper class individual in 1969 was about 143,000families and the percentage was about 3% in 1983 the upper classfamilies was about 267, 000 families which was approximated to be 4%and in the 1986 the total number of the families were 624, 000 withan approximated 9%. The middle class individuals were about1,100,000, 1, 500, 00 and 1,910,000 families with a 23%, 23% and 27%respectively (Curwood 31). The working class non-poor during the sameperiod 1969, 1983 and 1986 were 2.1 million, 2.4 million and 2.42million and they were projected to have a wealth level of 44%, 36%and 34% respectively. The working class poor were about 688,000,963,000 families in 1969 and 1983 respectively and the percentageprojection was 14% and 15%. The underclass poor were about 716,000,1.5 million and 2.142 million families and the percentage was 15%,23% and 30% respectively (Curwood 31).
The white were the first class group and thus many were employed inwhite and blue collar jobs. My community exploited this opportunityby educating their children, and this is why my community has manywealthiest people in the United State. Apart from education, mycommunity has also invested heavily on talent, and that is why wehave lots of celebrities here in southern Houston.
Shabazz, Amilcar.Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle forAccess and Equity in Higher Education in Texas. ChapelHill: U of North Carolina, 2004. Print.
The book written by Shabazz Amilcar shows how the Africans fought fortheir right so that they could enroll to higher education in Texas.During this time the African Americans could get the basic highschool education but they were not allowed to enroll in highereducation since it was a fundamental right of people to be educatedthey had to fight for their education. Even though the AfricanAmericans had the right to own property and any other freedom highereducation was meant for the White Americans and this is the reasonAfrican Americans were given the manual work. They were offered withbasic education and thus they had to be supervised in variouscompanies since they could not operate machines.
I recommend the young generation to be educated since education isthe key to success and in United States one cannot be employed if oneis not qualified and competent enough to manage or even lead othersin the companies. I recommend high quality education that will meetthe need and expectations of the young generations who are lookingfor job opportunities. This is because many of unemployed people lackcompetence and the required knowledge to convince the employers thatthey are capable. I recommend entrepreneurship skills and goodcommunication skills to be taught in higher education so thatgraduates can be entrepreneurs and thus create job opportunitiesinstead of being job seekers.
Freedman,Russell. The Voice That Challenged a Nation: MarianAnderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights. New York:Clarion, 2004. Print.
Freedman Russell in his books argues that even if there are so manysocial constraints that limit one from pursuing what he or she needsthere is need to ascertain that one fights for it until it isobtained. Marian Anderson is an African American who is a vocalistand he fought for the right equal right among the White Americans andthe African Americans. Maria finished high school at the age of 24years and later continued with her art composition. Due to racialchallenges she was prohibited singing in the Constitution Hall basedon that it was reserved for “white only”. Since she knew herright she composed a message that condemned inequality between theAfrican Americans and white and later she was allowed to sing inLincoln Memorial Hall.
I have understood that there is need to keep on pushing for one rightwhen it has been undermined just like Maria Anderson did. She kept onpushing so that she could perform like the other white counterpartsuntil she was granted the permission to perform. Human beings shouldfight for equal rights since in the eyes of God we are all equal andthus there is no need to discriminate others just because they areeither Hispanic, white or African Americans. It is the role of thegovernment to ensure that equal rights are embraced so that each andevery person can feel part and parcel of the general public sincewhen the government does not embrace equal right then individualsavoid payment of tax. From the source above I have understood theimportance of being courageous since if she kept silent she could nothave gotten that opportunity of showing her talent to the people andthus the equal rights were embraced.
Interviewer:hey my friend!! Can I ask you some questions regarding yourancestors?
Interviewee:Halloo. You can go ahead no problem. I am going to answer you theone that I know, since I don’t even know my ancestors but I hearabout them from my parents. It is about 100 years ago when they werealive but I am lucky because I trace the history from the oldergenerations and from my parents.
Interviewer:How did you find yourself in United States?
Interviewee:Eeeehh. A good question though difficult. From what, I hear from myparents our grandparents came here looking for a greener pasture manyyears ago. God Rest them in peace. They used to work in the cottonplantation before they pass on due to poor weather conditions whenthey was in the plantations, but luckily they were blessed with threechildren, one male and two females. One of the female child was mymother and she is a live up to date, and we reside with her in SouthHouston.
Interviewer:sorry for you grandparent and I am sorry I did not mean to hurt you.
Interviewee:I am okay.
Interviewer:Thanks for your time
The second interviewinvolves a white student with a Caucasian student
Caucasian: Hellomy friend
White: I amgood, how can I help you, you seem like you want to ask a question.
Caucasian: Youare right can I ask you some questions that may be personal?
White: Goahead my friend.
Caucasian:Why do some communities lives as enemies? Since I do not understandwhy should one kidnap and sell his fellow human being.
White: Ithink that some people are extremely money minded. You can see eventoday people have that bad mentality of thinking that money iseverything and this is the reason you can see someone betraying hisor her country since he or she has been given some dollars. Do youremember the Boston Marathon attack when people were injured by agrenade that was thrown by a fellow American? That how people werecreated ….anyway lets proceed.
Caucasian:Thank you for your time and for answering my questions I am satisfiednow since I thought you have duo citizenship.
African American:welcome my friend. I will see you later.
The third interviewinvolves two people Jane who is a professor in a private universityand African American student by the name James.
Jane: how areyou sir?
James: I amfine and you?
Jane: I amokay. Can you mind if I can ask you some questions?
James: Noproblem you can ask.
Jane: At themoment the Americans have the right to own properties at any place inUnited State. Do your parents own properties here or they have boughtit in their mother country?
James: Wehave two mansions in two different real estates and two cars that myparents use when going to work. Due to the right of ownership ofproperties we are not afraid to own properties and this is the reasonwe work extra hard.
Jane: Ithought since you are immigrants you fear owing properties. Can youaccess education just like the white Americans?
James: Yes,racial segregation has been eliminated.
Jane: Thankyou for your time
South Houston is avery rich place in term of culture. This is a result of immigrants,who came to the United State long term ago from distinct placesaround the world. Immigration is one of the aspects that results tointermarriages between communities, and thus, one has two culturalpractices that may be observed. Based on the fact that human beingsare social beings whenever they migrate from one place to another,they are linked by strong bond of intermarriage and cultural values.For example, in the Southern Houston, there are different ethniccommunities that are under the western culture, and thus, theimmigrants have to adapt the cultural values so that they can becomepart and parcel of the western culture. Failure to adapt the culturalvalues implies that one cannot survive since many of the residentsare used to it. It is also worth noting that, when differentcommunities reside together, they can easily adapt one anotherculture. For example, my community has adapted signing culture, whichwas mainly dominated by Africa American. From the interviews as wellas secondary sources, I have learnt there is nothing that comes easy.For someone to attain the desired goals, they must pursue themrelentlessly until they succeed. A good example is Maria, who foughtfor her rights without giving up until she achieved her desiredgoals.
Marable, M, and Leith, M. Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices ofResistance, Reform, and Renewal: An African American Anthology.Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. Print.
Arsenault, R. Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for RacialJustice. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.
Curwood, C. Stormy Weather: Middle-class African AmericanMarriages between the Two World Wars. Chapel Hill: U of NorthCarolina, 2010. Print.