Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Race and Outliers - epilogue

Haley Scholars Fall 2012 Reading Groups     

The epilogue at first appears to be the final presentation of a randomly selected and researched outlier. But we soon learn that the closing outlier narrative is in fact a narrative about the author, Malcolm Gladwell. We learn, perhaps not surprisingly at this point, that Gladwell’s own success emerges from the hidden advantages and multiple opportunities that his parents and grandparents received.

Among other important issues, Gladwell explains how light skin color allowed his otherwise disadvantaged black relatives to excel in ways that their fellow dark-skinned Jamaicans did not. Having an ancestor who had “a little bit of whiteness” or having one who got a chance at meaningful work became an “extraordinary advantage.” It was an advantage not simply based on working hard but rather on arbitrary yet powerful cultural and structural factors.

What stood out to you most concerning Gladwell’s discussions of skin color and advantage (or disadvantage)? Why?

13 comments:

Jacqueline Carter said...

The thing that stood out most to me concerning Gladwell's discussion of light skin color was that it was favored and ranked superior.It just didn't seem right to get advantages based on how light or dark someone was.People should be evaluated based on what they have to offer.

Jade Green said...

The thing that stood out to me the most was how they said light skinned people were ranked higher than dark skinned people. I believe that all people are equal and you should not rank others higher because of their skin color.

Kiara Gay said...

What stood out to me most was the fact that people have an advantage in our society based on being a lighter complexion. Our society should be at a point where we look past skin color, and focus on the ability that one has to fulfill a goal or task. Having a darker skin color does not mean that one has less to offer.

Kiara Gay said...

What stood out to me most was the fact that people have an advantage in our society based on being a lighter complexion. Our society should be at a point where we look past skin color, and focus on the ability that one has to fulfill a goal or task. Having a darker skin color does not mean that one has less to offer.

Joshua Jones said...

Like Jacueline, it popped out to me how Gladwell said the color of your skin showed where you stood in the world.The times are changin and this should not be a problem anymore, it is clearly something that should be dealt with immediately.

Ashya Ford said...

One thing that stands out to me in the reading is the value put on the depth of your complexion. It amazed me how a difference of two shades could mean the difference between a long life over a short one, or even a wealthier life style versus a less fortunate lifestyle.
Ashya F.

TaTierra Witherspoon said...

What stood out is how he said light skinned peoplke were more advantaged than the darker skinned people. It reminded me of Jim Crow's letter , how he mentioned darks vs lights, old vs young & etc. It shouldn't matter about the color of your skin, but the goals you achieve & how hard you work for what you want.

Wesley H said...

The thing that stood out the most to me was the fact thta lighter skinned people were "higher ranked". It is somewhat manifested on tv in things like rap videos. I dont agree with this at all.

Ajeenah Johnson-Brown said...

The thing that stood out to me in the epilogue was the concept discussed that the lighter you are the more superior you are viewed. While this is sad, I feel that this is somewhat true; especially to white america. To them the lighter you are the more you are like them. We are also guilty of doing this to ourselves. How many times have you heard a guy put a light skinned girl before a dark skinned girl? Or simply just say they are prettier. While sad, but true light skin is preferred and seen better than dark skin.

Breon Anderson said...

What stood out to me the most is how people of the same color and family but some lighter or darker are treated different because of the darknest of there skin

Wole Abraham said...

What stood out to me in Gladwell's discussion the most was the way they viewed "light skinned" people more superior and they showed them more favor. The way people look should not determine the form of treatment they get

Raven Cole said...

What stood out to me the most in Gladwell's discussion was the fact that he recognized this pattern years ago. I absolutely believe that "lighter skinned" people are able to make an easier transition into other races especially Caucasian.

Mariah B. said...

Thing that stood out me the most is that people actually had an advantage or disadvantage because of how light or dark their skin was. This is something that I do not believe in. I believe that everyone should be treated equally no matter if they are black, white, pink, or purple.