English Composition II

Category: Unit 2 (Page 2 of 7)


Shirley Liranzo


Finding your beat


My beat is my inspiration, motivation, and dedication to cooking because of famous legendary chef, Julia Childs. She loved to show Americans that cooking was not a chore but an experience that she enjoyed. She loved food and her energy is what made her meaningful. “The joy she had while cooking was infectious and brought a new perspective to whipping up creative culinary delights. She inspired millions of Americans to put down fast food and pick up a French cookbook.” Julia found her passion after working in aircraft warning service and research assistant. She achieved many goals like creating a cookbook, hosting a show and most importantly, she found her passion. I look up to Julia not only because we have similarities and her amazing dishes, but because she is an example of finding her devotion later in her life, which I feel a lot of young people struggle to find especially in their 20’s. She did not find her passion until her late 30’s because she did not have to cook growing up. She was on television for 37 years and wrote 18 books. According to PBS, it states “In her late 70s and 80s, she collaborated with a young talented director and producer, Geof Drummond, to make four new series  “Cooking with Master Chefs,” “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs,” “Baking with Julia,” and with her good friend Jacques Pépin, “Jacques and Julia at Home.” Each series was accompanied by a companion book.” These were some of the books that were published by Julia Childs.

            I had a similar inspiration to start cooking. My partner and I favorite activity was to try out different ethnic foods in New York. We would text and send each other different ethnic restaurants in New York. One week we’d try an Italian restaurant; the next week we would try a Mexican restaurant, and so on. If we really liked a specific restaurant, we would go to the same place twice. We went to a fancy restaurant one day and our server was talking about how she loved recreating Julia Childs recipes from her famous cookbook “Mastering the art of French Cooking”. Because I was a beginner, I decided to try cooking steak with mashed potatoes for my partner one day when we decided to save money to travel. I knew my passion to cook started when he tried it, and he smiled. I knew I wanted to continue cooking and making others happy. The more I practiced, the better I got. Just like Julia, my partner motivates me and encourages me because he knows that I can get frustrated when I cook but reminds me that I always end up perfecting it the second time. His favorite phrase was, “Making a mistake is a step closer to success”. I knew I couldn’t be afraid to make mistakes, especially if I had just started to learn to cook something new. Mistakes make you stronger and confident. If you make a mistake, pay attention to where it happened and see what you can do next time so you are less likely to make the mistake again. I never gave up after I had a deep conversation with my partner. This was similar to Julias saying “Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun.” I used to take cooking too seriously, but once I made a mistake, I did not get discouraged. Julia wouldn’t be where she was if it was not for the hard work and mistakes she made when she first started to cook.

            Julia also had a partner that supported her. According to Smithsonian magazine, she was not a natural in the kitchen. Julia Childs used to only eat frozen food. When she met Paul, her husband, he worked for the US Foreign Service. In 1948, the couple traveled to Paris for Paul’s work. In France, when she had her first meal, her interest in cooking sparked. Her first experience with classical French cuisine and she loved it. She began cooking and found joy in making food. “She learned to cook to please Paul, attempting to seduce him with her kitchen prowess”. Paul helped her with every aspect of her cooking career. He was her manager, photographer, recipe-tester or illustrator if she needed him to be. She took cooking classes in France, and studied french. According to the author GBH, it states, “While in Paris with her husband, Julia enrolled at le Cordon Bleu, where she attended French cooking classes. Along with two French friends, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, she co-wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking, published in 1961, which aimed to make French cooking accessible to Americans”. In her book, “My Life in France,” her most known recipes in her cookbook were french onion soup, potato leek soup, and chicken breast with a mushroom cream sauce. She took 9 years to write and publish her cookbook with her two friends. They began testing recipes for ten years. The ten years consisted of trial and error, re-writing recipes, and perfecting each ingredient.


Unit 2 final draft

                     Struggles and Perceptions of Black Women’s Natural Hair


         History shows that black people have experienced almost all forms of adversity since time immemorial. Aspects such as slavery, physical torture, inadequate education, low employment opportunities, and criminal injustices have long been considered drawbacks to the plight of black people. Black women have also experienced their fair share of difficulties in the workplace and society, not just because of their color, but also their hair nature, texture, and grooming. For instance, most workplaces usually require women, especially black women, to have specific hairstyles. Their natural hair should be straightened to look ‘neat.’ None of this considers that the natural black hair is kinky, more delicate, and faces many other challenges. The issue is in the spotlight now after the recent Oscar awards incident where comedian Chris Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett being bald led to Jada’s husband, Will Smith, going on stage and slapping the comedian with the whole world watching. It was later revealed that the bald style is because Jada suffers from Alopecia, a medical condition that leads to hair loss. The incident has prompted the world to address the challenges black women face in dealing with their hair and the societal pressure to conform to the set standards, which unfortunately also refers to the white people’s standards. This essay will discuss some of the struggles of black women’s natural hair and how it is perceived in the workplace and society.

To understand how much their natural hair means to black women, a grassroots approach is needed to probe the worldwide policing of black hair. The Black natural hair movement represents the Black descendants’ intergenerational pain, perseverance, and healing (Scott-Ward et al., 2021). Black women’s natural hair expresses their black history. Most, if not all, black people have pictures of their female ancestors donning eye-catching hairstyles such as dreadlocks, cornrows, and nicely kempt afros. The natural hair represents black women’s background, tribe, and social status. Almost every person’s identity could be learned by just looking at their hair. This may seem slightly exaggerated. Nevertheless, black history records indicate otherwise. For example, a black woman in mourning would either opt for a more subdued hairstyle or no hairstyle at all (Jahangir, 2015). Black women even had their own fine-tuned combs since natural black hair is much more delicate compared to white people’s hair.

Even after slavery was abolished in most colonized countries in 1865, black people had a new challenge to address. The need to fit in with the white people meant that they had to adjust their natural hair to match the mainstream white community. They had to smoothen their hair texture to camouflage with white people’s hair. This feat was referred to as ‘the great oppression’ due to the sheer difficulty encountered when they tried to smoothen their hair. Years went by with black people struggling to look like their white counterparts until they felt enough was enough. The afro hairstyle movement set off in the 1960s, where black people protested against the rising levels of racial segregation due to their hair, rendering them unemployable and perceived as ‘not smart enough.’ It was a sign of rebellion, pride, and empowerment (Jahangir, 2015). The one question asked by most black people, especially women, was whether they were still compelled to appropriate white culture in terms of hair grooming or was it now a choice they could make free-willed.

    Having discussed the history of worldwide policing of black women’s natural hair, it is much easier to understand the struggles of their natural hair and how it is perceived in the workplace and society. Studies show that skin tone, facial appearance, and hairstyle influence how black women are treated at workplaces and in society (Kennedy, 2020). As discovered, the non-acceptance of black women’s natural hair is systemic and historical. Due to their natural hairstyle, almost every black woman has stories, experiences, and run-ins at their workplace and within their community. Their hair is considered unprofessional and does not match everyone’s hair (where everyone’s hair means white people’s hair). Hairstyles such as afro and dreadlocks are deemed wild, radical, untidy, and criminal-like, which shows that black women’s natural hair is open to stereotypical views based on nonsensical opinions.

    Black women’s kinky, curly hair texture was seen as evidence of their alien nature, leading to an ideological notion of black inferiority, which justified the brutal treatment of black women at work and in their community. When black women turn up with their natural hair (non-chemically straightened or altered hairstyles), such as dreadlocks or afros, they are frequently perceived as unprofessional, hostile, rebellious, inept, criminal, or unappealing (Kennedy, 2020). Workplaces that do not allow black women to keep their natural hair often put them at a precarious disadvantage. Black women will have to spend hours preparing their hair to be more ‘presentable at work’ and more money on their hair. There are several cases of Blacks who have had employment offers withdrawn due to their hair. In the case of EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals held in 2016 permitted employers to prohibit dreadlocks throughout the recruiting process and revoke employment offers based on their hairstyle (Greene, 2016). This was after Chastity Jones, who Catastrophe Management Solutions had recruited as a customer service personnel, was forced to cut off her locks for the company to accept her. She refused to do so, which led to the termination of her employment contract with their hiring manager, citing that dreadlocks ‘tend to get messy’. (Griffin, 2019).

    The black natural hair conundrum at workplaces is severe and was even classified as a civil rights issue. Up to date, the US Courts are still at crossroads on black women’s right to wear natural hair at their workplace. For more than four decades, black employees have lodged lawsuits alleging job discrimination because of their natural hair, with varied success. These judicial decisions and shifting social and cultural norms have resulted in a complicated and unclear legal position. The court system and other regulatory entities choose to sit on the fence (Griffin, 2019). Most states in the US allow job companies to conduct recruitment based on hairstyles, thus granting them the right to forego any potential employees because of their natural hair (Griffin, 2019). For black women to wear their natural hair at work, the US government, white corporates, court systems, regulatory companies, and other institutions should allow them to keep their natural hair since it does not affect their productivity. Contrary to that, it would boost their confidence at work bearing in mind that they will finally experience inclusivity in their workplaces.

    Natural hair discrimination happens not only in workplaces but also in society. Reports suggest that the type of hairstyles black women wear can influence how they are treated in several social contexts (Kennedy, 2020). For instance, Black female high school and college students are three to six times more likely to be suspended or expelled due to their appearance (natural hair) (Henderson & Wyatt Bourgeois, 2021). Natural black women’s hair continues to be criminalized even in this informed century. Further, black women have also been verbally teased and abused by their peers solely because of their natural hair (Onnie Rogers et al., 2021). Black girls, in particular, are often targets of hair-based discrimination. It is undoubtedly discriminatory, baseless, and illegal to penalize Black natural hair in the name of academic standards. Black female students suffer in these schools for what comes naturally to them, their hair. It is unfair for them to go through this, especially at a time when black people are being encouraged to embrace their color, culture, and natural hair.

    While natural hairstyles are becoming increasingly accepted, more progress can be made in society to safeguard and promote women who prefer to adopt Afrocentric hairstyles (Asbeck et al., 2022). Although social and environmental pressures play a massive role in how society views black women’s natural hair, black women should not be forced to change their natural hair looks to conform to societal norms. Furthermore, dermatologists support black women embracing natural hair since having it is more appropriate than chemically treating your hair health-wise (Asbeck et al., 2022). Research has shown that all other chemically induced hairstyles are associated with health risks (Asbeck et al., 2022). Also, some black women living in white neighborhoods have struggled to embrace their natural hair as they view white hair as straight, soft, and seems easier to maintain. However, black women should learn to embrace their natural black hair due to their unique nature and beauty instead of trying to imitate other people’s looks (TEDx Talks, 2020).

Black women experience their fair share of difficulties in the workplace and society due to their natural hair. According to Black History, their hair portrays their background, tribe, social status, and many more aspects of their life, and so their social contexts should not coerce them into cutting their hair so that they can fit. Black women face many struggles both socially and at work. For example, some companies may fail to hire black women with natural hairstyles such as dreadlocks and afros. Also, black school-going females endure their fair share of mistreatment and abuse by their schools and the school administration. Their white colleagues tease them because of their strange hair, while the school administrations are always keen on suspending or expelling black female students on flimsy school dressing codes and hairstyles. It is high time black women learned to embrace their natural hair as has been since time immemorial. Moreover , corporations, business organizations, public institutions, and the judiciary system should all pull their weight to ensure black women are no longer discriminated against because of their natural hair.



Asbeck, S., Riley-Prescott, C., Glaser, E., & Tosti, A. (2022). Afro-Ethnic Hairstyling Trends, Risks, and Recommendations. Cosmetics, 9(1), 17. https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/9/1/17/pdf

Greene, D. W. (2016). Splitting hairs: The Eleventh Circuit’s take on workplace bans against Black women’s natural hair in EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions. U. Miami L. Rev., 71, 987. https://repository.law.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4514&context=umlr

Griffin, C. (2019). How natural black hair at work became a civil rights issue. JStor Daily. https://daily.jstor.org/how-natural-black-hair-at-work-became-a-civil-rights-issue/

Henderson, H., & Wyatt Bourgeois, J. (2021). Penalizing Black hair in the name of academic success is undeniably racist, unfounded, and against the law. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/how-we-rise/2021/02/23/penalizing-black-hair-in-the-name-of-academic-success-is-undeniably-racist-unfounded-and-against-the-law/

Jahangir, R. (2015, May 31). How does black hair reflect black history? BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-31438273

Kennedy, K. (2020). My natural hair is unprofessional: The impact of Black hairstyles on perceived employment-related characteristics (Doctoral dissertation, Marquette University). https://epublications.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1580&context=theses_open

Onnie Rogers, L., Versey, H. S., & Cielto, J. (2021). “They’re always gonna notice my natural hair”: Identity, intersectionality and resistance among Black girls. Qualitative Psychology. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/H-Versey/publication/354565168_They’re_always_gonna_notice_my_natural_hair_Identity_intersectionality_and_resistance_among_Black_girls/links/6141270adabce51cf45205f4/Theyre-always-gonna-notice-my-natural-hair-Identity-intersectionality-and-resistance-among-Black-girls.pdf

Scott-Ward, G., Gupta, N., & Greene, E. (2021). Back to Natural and the Intergenerational Healing of the Natural Black Hair Movement. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 00221678211009078. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00221678211009078

TEDx Talks. (2020, 14 Jan). African Hair | LUCILLE ROIMEN | TEDxYouth@BrookhouseSchool [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/vhkzfuXl5Sk

Unit 2 Final Draft

Climate change is a topic highly discussed in the media and with that comes a lot of confusion on what climate change is, where it comes from, and how it will affect us. Climate change is a long term/significant change in earth’s temperature and weather patterns. Climate change occurs mainly because of the greenhouse effect where gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gasses trap the sun’s heat which warms the planet’s surface. These greenhouse gasses can be caused by either natural or human causes. Climate change causes the earth to become drier, warmer, and damper. Climate change is an urgent issue all of the population need to deal with as it is earth’s biggest challenge.

For years there have been debates on whether or not climate change is real and whether it has been caused by humans. Some people seem to believe that climate change is only caused by nature, but that is incorrect. According to the U.S Global Change Research Program, “the long term trend observed over the past century can only be explained by the effect of human activities on climate.” Therefore, the majority of climate change has been caused by humans. Another example is from the US fourth national climate assessment where it was found that “between 93% to 123% of observed 1951-2010 global warming was due to human activities.” From my own previous studies I know the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is the most responsible for global warming. Carbon dioxide rises from deforestation, and the burning of fossil fuels which further shows the impact of humanity on climate change. 

The effects of climate change have already become noticeable. The Antarctic peninsula has begun to melt faster causing the living environment of Antarctica to shift, glacial ice has been lost and has begun to shrink, and heat waves have become stronger. As time goes on the effects of climate change will only get worse. People also seem to believe climate change will not impact them. However, this is false, climate change will impact everyone and every aspect of the world around us if we don’t act soon. In the future this can mean extreme weather such as more floods, stronger hurricanes, deadly heat, more droughts, and intense storms. One shocking realization of climate change is that it can cause the Arctic to become ice free. According to Global Risks Report 2021, “as climate change transforms global ecosystems, it affects everything from the places we live to the water we drink to the air we breathe.” Climate change would impact our health and food supply as well because our food supply depends on the climate, and our health/lives are put at risk by changes in the weather and climate. Climate change also has a significant impact on “communities of women, children, people of color, indigenous communities, and the economically marginalized” according to the NRDC. Other communities who would be significantly impacted include the “elderly, people with preexisting health conditions, and outdoor workers” according to the NOAA. Ultimately though, it doesn’t matter where we live or who we are, climate change is inevitable which is why we cannot afford to waste any more time. 

The effects of global warming and climate change are irreversible and if we don’t change and increase our efforts to decrease these effects, we further endanger our health and safety. We as a population have a task to act against climate change together in order to make a significant difference. Some things the people in power such as the government can do is limit the use of fossil fuels. According to a professor of sustainability science, “we need to cut CO2 emissions almost in half by the end of the next decade.” Another useful thing the people in power can do is use renewable energy such as solar panels and windmills. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency “several of the most commonly used renewables will be on par with or cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. Some are already more cost effective. Therefore, since it is 2022 there should be no excuse on why we should use fossil fuels instead of renewable energy. 

By making a change in our own communities we can still avoid the worst effects of climate change despite past mistakes. This includes limiting our use of cars, as cars pollute the air. According to BBC news, “going car free was the number one most effective action an individual could take.” To add onto what individuals can do to help climate change, we can reduce animal products in our diets. BBC news states “by reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet’s carbon footprint by more than 40%.” BBC news also brings up how “the clothing sector represents around 3% of the world’s global production emissions of CO2, mostly because of the use of energy to produce attire.” In other words, we should shop differently, and stop shopping fast fashion because it is unnecessary energy as fast fashion is poor quality. I know another way to help with the climate change crisis is to stop taking long showers because of its excessive water use, also energy is consumed during these long showers and it creates more CO2 emissions. Everyone can help with climate change just by changing things in their everyday life. When one person makes a sustainably oriented decision, others are influenced to do it as well. It is our responsibility to act now and we deserve the right to a healthy planet, and so do the generations that come after us. 

To conclude, the future of the planet is on the line. Climate change concerns us all. If we don’t do anything about it, climate change and the warming of the planet will lead to more frequent illness, increased prices of food, and decreased supply of food and water. Climate change is complex but we still have time to avoid the worst effects of it. We have until the year 2030 to prevent irreparable damage to our planet, by 2030 we have to achieve near zero emissions. This is an urgent matter that needs to be taken care of. We created this problem and now we have to fix it, or significant and increased effects of climate change will destroy us.


Works Cited

“Causes of Climate Change.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/climatechange-science/causes-climate-change.

“Climate Change Impacts.” Climate Change Impacts | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, https://www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/climate/climate-change-impacts.

Hausfather, Zeke. “Analysis: Why Scientists Think 100% of Global Warming Is Due to Humans.” Carbon Brief, 31 Jan. 2022, https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-why-scientists-think-100-of-global-warming-is-due-to-humans

Ortiz, Diego. “Ten Simple Ways to Act on Climate Change.” BBC Future, BBC, 4 Nov. 2018, https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20181102-what-can-i-do-about-climate-change

 September 01, 2021 Melissa Denchak Jeff Turrentine. “Global Climate Change: What You Need to Know.” NRDC, 3 Mar. 2022, https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-climate-change-what-you-need-know#effects.

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