RACE Ethnicity is the term for the culture of

RACE
AND ETHNICITY

A race is associated with
biology, whereas ethnicity is associated with culture.  In biology, races are genetically distinct
populations within the same species; they typically have relatively minor
morphological and genetic differences. Though all humans belong to the same
species (Homo sapiens), and even to the same sub-species (Homo sapiens
sapiens), there are small genetic variations across the globe that engender
diverse physical appearances, such as variations in skin color (Staff, 2012).

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The traditional
definition of race and ethnicity is related to biological and sociological
factors respectively. Race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, such
as bone structure and skin, hair, or eye color. Ethnicity, however, refers to
cultural factors, including nationality, regional culture, ancestry, and
language (“Ethnicity vs Race”).

An example of race is
brown, white, or black skin (all from various parts of the world), while an
example of ethnicity is German or Spanish ancestry (regardless of race) or Han
Chinese. your race is determined by how you look while your ethnicity is
determined based on the social and cultural groups you belong to. You can have
more than one ethnicities, but we are said to have one race, even if it’s
“mixed race”(“Ethnicity vs Race”).

Ethnicity is the term for
the culture of people in each geographic region, including their language,
heritage, religion, and customs. To be a member of an ethnic group is to conform
to some or all those practices. Race and ethnicity can overlap, but they are
distinct. For example, a Japanese-American would probably consider herself a
member of the Japanese or East Asian race, but, if she doesn’t engage in any of
the practices or customs of her ancestors, she might not identify with the
ethnicity, but might instead consider herself to be American (Staff, 2012).

According to an article,
I read it stated that there is nothing genetic about the presence or absence of
traditional culture; traditional culture is not the sole province of any one
ethnic group. For example, in ancient Europe, the Celts and Teutons lived
traditional culture. In ancient North America, the Anishinaabe and Lakota lived
traditional culture. In ancient Africa, the Bantu and Yoruba lived traditional
culture. At some point back in history all human beings — regardless of what
continent they occupied and which ethnic group they constituted — all lived in
a traditional tribal culture (Knick, 2010).

Modern culture developed
in some areas of the planet as human societies grew larger. Mass organization
in some form — first the development of large workforces and armies, and later
the development of mechanized means of production — was an important force in
changing the traditional culture into modern culture. The shift from rural life
to urban life is at the core of the development of modern culture (Knick, 2010).

Any kind of culture can
be a foundation, uplifting, and responsible for nourishing a home and may
produce rules for understanding ourselves. I strongly believe that if the
person is to deeply be caught up in cultural identity it may limit a person
from growing and reaching their highest potential. Although I am a black woman
and can identify with the issues regarding black women and women in general, I
am not limited by my culture by any means. 

 

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RACE AND ETHNICITY

One example of the
difference between these two terms is by examining people who share the same
ethnicity. Two people can identify their ethnicity as American, yet their races
may be black and white. Additionally, a person born of Asian descent who grew
up in Germany may identify racially as Asian and ethnically as German. People
who share the same race may also have distinct ethnicities. For example, people
identifying as white may have German, Irish, or British ethnicity (Pariona,
2016).

 

SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED DIFFERENCES

Some researchers believe
that the idea of race and ethnicity has been socially constructed. This is
because their definitions change over time, based on widely accepted public
opinion. The race was once believed to be due to genetic differences and
biological morphologies. This belief gave way to racism, the idea of racial
superiority and inferiority. For example, when Italian immigrants began
arriving in the United States, they were not considered part of the “white
race.” The same is true of Irish and Eastern European immigrants (Pariona,
2016). The widely accepted view that these individuals were not white led to restrictions
of immigration policies and on the entrance of “non-white”
immigrants. In fact, during this time, people from these areas were considered
of the “Alpine” or “Mediterranean” races. Today, these race
categories no longer exist. Instead, due to later policy changes, people from
these groups began to be accepted into the wider “white” race. They
are now identified as individual ethnic groups. Which shows that, like the idea
of race, the idea of ethnicity also changes over time-based on widely held public
opinion (Pariona, 2016).

Ethnic identity is
believed to promote group cohesiveness, particularly in communities of
immigrants. Sharing ethnic identity within groups or communities provides
safety to individuals who might otherwise be shunned within their host country.
Over time, however, ethnic identity is replaced with racial identity. This
replacement occurs as each successive generation begins to assimilate with the
culture of the host country, which, consequently, goes from being the host
country to home (Pariona, 2016).

 

MY
RACE AND MY ETHNICITY

While researching I read
that since I am an African American or, identify with being African American, I
am a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such
as “Haitian” or “Negro” can be used in addition to
“Black or African American” (“Race and Ethnicity
Classifications”).

 

 

WHAT
DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN AMERICAN?

I am aware of what
America or being an American is supposed to be and that is being free and having
plenty of opportunities. Although I agree that being American has its great
points, it has its dark points too. I came across two quotes by African
Americans addressing what it means to them to be American they are the
following:

Being
Black in America, often, means being judged before you ever open your mouth. It
means knowing that many of the people surrounding you already have the
preconceived idea that you are uneducated, loud and ghetto…It means having to
hear others respond to the social injustices that we are facing with words like
‘All Lives Matter,’ as if others saying that ‘police need to stop killing
unarmed Black men’ is offensive and questionable enough for debate.” – Jada H (“What
Does It Mean to Be Black in America?”, 2017).

“I
have to work three, four times harder just to prove that I’m just as
intelligent or capable as someone with lighter skin than me. We’re constantly
silenced with everyone’s desire for us to be content with the inhumane
treatment that we receive…I have to tell my little black nephew, that I love to
death, that he better not take part in the simple things that could easily get
him senselessly murdered. It means that I have to constantly remind my little
black niece that her skin is beautiful, and she is capable of all things she
puts her mind to. It simply means that we, black people, have to continue the
fight for equality and justice.” – Makiya W (“What Does It Mean To Be Black In
America?”, 2017).

 

MY CULTURAL INFLUENCES
AND MY TRADITIONS

My identity is simple I
am a black and I am a woman, I do not agree with the term African American
because I feel it is a form of disrespect to real Africans from Africa. Their
culture is rich and deep, and I feel as though claiming some form of their name
is an insult to them. I am black first and American second and I could argue
rather I am American. Although I wish I did have direct ties to my ancestral
culture the reality is that I don’t. My memories only go back to my great
grandmothers. I have heard stories of how strong these women were and how they
were the true backbone of the family. I was able to witness the greatness of
one great-grandmother. She was feisty smart and way ahead of her time. She had
no problem with speaking her mind; some would say she was tough as nails and at
the same time she displayed her femininity with not only class, also without it
being an issue. My great grandmother Beatrice was married to a man 12 years w

Younger than her which
was unusual in her time. I say all this to say that my influences of being a
woman who could have it all were never a foreign concept in my household
growing up. My grandmother (moms side) was Valedictorian. By the time she
graduated from high school she had 6 children and she later went on to be a
very successful woman who was not only a mother but a wife and business women.
My beliefs and values are shaped by the strong women in my life.

According to my research to
truly understand what values we possess and live by, we must deconstruct them
until we are able to clearly see what exactly it is we value and why we hold
those values (Taylor, 2012). According to an author, Jim Taylor Ph.D. looking
openly and honestly at the way we were raised is the first step in identifying
the values that we were instilled with growing up.

What did our parent’s
value and what values did they impress upon us, achievement, wealth, education,
religion, status, independence, appearance? (Taylor, 2012). Growing up both my
parents instilled in me the importance of hard work, education, and family.
Most of my youth my father worked construction jobs for very little pay. At the
age of 38, he decided school was the best option and his path to a better
lifestyle. What his choice regarding going to school, instilled s that it is
never too late to peruse your dreams. After he graduated I was able to witness firsthand
the benefits of an education, better home, better transportation and simply a
better life. Observing my dad embedded in me, that education was important and
very necessary. My mother was already a college graduate and well into her
career when my dad went back to school, but what she instilled was hard work
and the importance of family support. All of these were values that were
stressed in my upbringing and I emphasized them to my children today.