The Importance of Identity

There were quite a few parts of this week’s readings that stuck with me as I read. The first is the line, “To accept Black Power as Christian required that we thrust ourselves into our history in order to search for new ways to think and be black in this world. We felt the need to explain ourselves and to be understood from our own vantage point and not from the perspective and experiences of whites.” (Sernett 569). I found this section to be reminiscent of a theme that has been easily found in many, if not all, of our readings thus far this semester: the importance of identity. So much of what we’ve read and discussed has related back to the need for an identity to belong to, and the dignity and honor associated with that identity. A similar theme can be seen later in the chapter: “Since humanity is one, and cannot be isolated into racial and national groups, there will be no freedom for anyone until there is freedom for all. This means that we must enlarge our vision by connecting it with that of other oppressed peoples so that together all the victims of the world might take charge of their history for the creation of a new humanity.” (Sernett 574-575). This, to me, spoke of each person’s individual identity, and what it means to be a part of a group and protect one anothers’ identities.


A different but not unconnected theme is found later in the chapter. Along with the theme of identity is the idea of pride, and the pride that comes from having an identity and a reclaimed history. One quote that I found that spoke of this idea was: “We simply reject the attempt of others to tell us what truth is without our participation in its definition.” (Sernett 576-577). This quote stood out in that it was blatant and simple, but exceptionally determined.

Leave a Reply