America is considered a melting pot, but it has also been the center of centuries of racism.
Why is this so?
Diann Gray, Madisonville poet and performance artist, explored the concept in her discussion Tuesday, "Take Off the Blindfold: Stereotyping of the Black Race".
"Stereotyping is a harmful, aggravated source of ignorance," said Gray. "It's a tool to hurt another ethnic race."
Gray posed many difficult questions concerning race, saying that many stereotype black men as "thugs", but she said that this is more about socioeconomics rather than race.
"To me, stereotyping is just racial propaganda to hurt the black race...there's good and bad in every race," said Gray.
"Character makes (people) who they are, it has nothing to do with the color of skin." – Diann Gray
Gray pointed out that there is also internalized racism within the black community dividing the culture. She said stereotypes from "good hair" and "bad hair" to even skin color often damages the perceptions of African-Americans toward their own backgrounds.
"Stereotyping does not hurt just one ethnic group, it hurts society as a whole," said Gray.
But what can America do to dismantle racist stereotypes?
It's easy, says Gray.
"The truth will counter the stereotype," said Gray.
For more information about this and other literary events hosted by the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library, visit HCPL online.
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