Black mans burden
It’s has been a very discussed topic whether the color of ones skin still can be a burden in today’s society or not. For Instance are the black people, and especially In South America racism Is a big Issue. Thus racism Is weakened compared to centuries ago, it is still present in not only a big part of America but in the rest of the world as well. Racism is one of the main issues, that the American author Kisses Layman is dealing with in his writings.
Layman is black himself and in his work “How to slowly Kill Yourself and Others In America” he shows us his personally story, which Is filled tit trials and reflections that lightens under-appreciated aspects of the modern American life. In the following essay will be examining a remembrance of Layman’s essay from the web magazine Gawkier, which was published the 28 of July 2012, to see how Layman gets his intention across. Layman grew up in Mississippi with a childhood embossed of racism and violence. This was a part of his everyday life.
To outline the central problem that this text is dealing with, it is important to emphasize that ones skin color is still very important In many societies today. For instance there Is the real life episode with the Police Officer Darrel Wilson who shot and killed the arrear old young black unarmed man named Michael Brown. These racially issues are the ones Layman has been struggled with during his upbringing. It is therefore these issues he wants to draw attention to In his essay. Layman speaks of personal experiences In his works, and this type of argumentation Is called ethos.
He is using ethos to emphasize the burden that comes with for blacks in a white-controlled society. I believe that Layman’s intention with his writings is to make people live their lives as they wish and intend to. That is why freedom” Is a very Important point In Layman’s writings. This is further shown In the essay: “How free can you be If you really accept that white folks are the traffic cops of your life? Mama tells me that she is not talking about freedom. She says that she is talking about survival.
- This quotation is very important, because it highlights Layman’s life values compared to Layman’s mother, who always taught him to be well behaved In a society controlled by white people. Layman was well behaved In his early years, but after several years of being treated badly, Just because of his skin-color, Layman had had enough. Layman became a boy with a lot of anger and frustration, and I think that through his writings he got vent for his feelings. First of all he starts in medias race: “I’ve had guns pulled on me by four people under Central Mississippi skies…
- This dramatic and brutal start is very catchy. Secondly the language in his essay is very brutal and dramatic as well. He Is using words like gun, Niger and buck, which have a negative connotation. Thirdly he Is using flashbacks In a way that I haven’t read before. Layman is overall writing about his young days in Mississippi, but sometimes he is OFF further shown in the essay: “16 months later, I’m 18, three years older than Edward Evans will be when he is shot in the head behind an abandoned home in Jackson.
- By using this very unspectacular way of writing, he gets to his audience with the way of persuasion called pathos, where he is relating to the feelings. These parallels that he is using are episodes, which have happened in the last couple of years. He therefore achieves to make his past familiar with the racially issues that goes on today. The only difference is that he has survived, and the kids he is relating to have men killed. Likely because of racially issues.
One of the persons who did not support his strong opinions was his mother. Layman therefore took distance to his mother, when she once pulled a gun to his face. To Layman this complex of problem was about the freedom that the black people weren’t in possession of in Mississippi. To Layman’s mother it was a matter of survival, and therefore it was very important to her that they would fit in as much as possible. Thus Layman has gotten death treats; it has not stopped him from writing or drawing attention to these issues.
Overall, Layman is using ethos to make his audience relate as much as possible through his personal experiences during his upbringing in Mississippi. An episode that Layman uses and which supports the theme racism is when an undercover “white” cop once pulled a gun at him. We most assume that this cop, called John Deere, pulls a gun at Layman, Troy, Cleat and Leighton because of their skin color since Deere shouts “Niger lovers” at them. By using ethos Layman achieves to get his audience attention since Layman’s personal experiences are truthful, chocking and provocative.
His writings however are aimed to a wide American target audience, and since Layman is a very intelligent and proficient writer, I think, that he achieves to get a lot of peoples’ attention. He writes in a very special way, which catches the audience attention very quickly. All in all, the remembrance is a display of Layman’s personal life where racism and violence is still present. Layman wants to draw attention to racism and violence. He wants people to say yes to life instead of letting some people being the “traffic cops” in your life, because of the burden that comes with when you are colored.