- In your own words, summarize the scene you have chosen. Write one paragraph of 5-7 sentences.
I chose to summarize the scene about Ray’s party. Right before the scene Ray and Obama had an argument about a senior named Kurt because Obama felt like Kurt was trying to impersonate them or imitate an accent that Obama found disrespectful. Ray defends Kurt saying Obama does a certain accent or changes the way he talks to a teacher when he needs something from them. Ray only wants to fit in with crowds and to seem popular too but Obama thinks the people Ray surrounds himself with are doing it to mock or make fun of them for being black. Which leads to this party Ray throws, and Ray wants to invite their white friends Jeff and Scott. Obama hesitated because there will only be black kids at the party, Scott and Jeff only agreed to go if Obama drives them. At the party Ray introduces Jeff and Scott and no one made any fuss about it, but Obama says “But I could see right away that the scene had taken my friends by surprise.” They were being respectful but seemed like they weren’t genuinely having fun. Obama tells Ray that he was going to take them home because maybe they weren’t into the party and Ray just stared emotionlessly at him and said goodbye. Once they get outside the air is tense and cold, as they get in the car Jeff tells about he learnt something from seeing the party and all the blacks kids together, and how it must be hard being the only black kids at their school. Obama got pissed from that comment but brushed that off. After he dropped off his friends, he thought about his conversations with Ray about white power and how they are inferior to white people because they have it all and they can do about it is internalize their hatred and angry towards white people.
- Select a significant quotation from the scene. Explain in your own words. One paragraph 5-7 sentences.
The significance of this quote is to show Obama’s point of view of racism in white people towards black people. They give pity to black people when they don’t ask or need it. They mock and insult them to feel empowered. It’s to show the ignorance of minds who don’t want to try to understand things they don’t understand.
- In this scene, what does Obama learn about himself and about the world? One paragraph of 5-7 sentences.
Obama gains this realization of the world after hearing not only Jeff’s words but Ray’s also. Jeff takes pity on black people because of the way he reacted to Ray’s party and how Obama and Ray are the only black kids at their school. Obama says “I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications.” Meaning the world is subjected to this forced injustice of race and how this racism is always going to be around no matter what. It’s like this because white people feel entitled and superior towards black people and Obama has this feeling of weakness and trapped. If they were to fight against it, they would be insulted and it cuts deep because of slavery and being called slurs that kidnappers used to call black people is very disrespectful and disgusting.