The story Between the World and Me taught me many things about life, culture, and the ways of people. This story gives me a different perspective of life and the world. Cultural anthropological methods helped me understand the book and various cultures. I am here to pass on my learnings to you, I want you to be a better person than I ever was. I want to teach you about my experiences and my views of this world so you can build upon it and make the world a better place however you can. This story has many lessons and I would like to pass them on to you, I hope you learn from them to better your life and the lives of others.
One of the first lessons that I caught from the book was that black people live in the fear of “losing their bodies”, Coates writes how he lived in constant fear of this. He clearly states this on the first page of his book and he says, “Son, Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body.” He then goes on to say “Hearing this, I felt an old and indistinct sadness well up in me.” This is so significant because people need to know what others go through, and if people know this they can get along because they can relate to one another. This really called out to me because I have never felt the fear of losing my body. Even though I grew up in a very poor family I have never felt the fear of losing anything. I always knew that I would have food on the table and I always knew I would have a roof above my head. Most importantly I have never had the fear of losing my body and I am very thankful for that and I hope that you never have to feel that ever. I will make sure you never do. Coates had to adapt to these circumstances and live through them in his youth life. l adaptations can be made at any time and can be as easy as putting on a coat when it is cold or as difficult as the design, construction, and installation of a heating system in a building. In Coates case to adapt meant life or death in some cases. In my cultural anthropology class at EDCC, I learned that I would need to use ethnography to learn about people and their culture and I believe that this book really helps me see Coates and many other black Americans’ views, it puts me in their shoes.
In my life and the culture I grew up in family is a huge thing. We are very family-oriented like many other cultures. Family structure was a big thing when I was reading this story because Coates talks about how he always had people and how the family was always big. So when Coates stated that “I didn’t always have things, but I had people—I always had people.” It hit me hard, if I ever needed something I always had someone to talk to, I never felt alone and that is what the whole worlds needs. When I was in my cultural anthropology class we did an activity, where we would introduce another student. This person I was introducing was from a very different culture than i was and she said that her family is also very family-oriented, this helped me connect with her. This showed me that even if you differ from someone you will always have something in common if you get to know each other. Culture is the cornerstone of human society. Everybody spends his or her life mostly in a cultural community. It often defines which kind of person a man or woman is and which values they will have. The role of culture is what drives everyone. Most people try to fit into their culture so they follow the “rules” that their culture presents to them. I hope that you and future generations are more open to other people and their cultures while also not losing your own culture.
Relationships between languages are very important. Language and culture are mixed together, a language usually points out a specific group of people. When you converse with a different language speaker you are also interacting with that culture. You cannot understand a culture without accessing their language. The complex is a term you can use to describe human communication because paralanguage transmits messages. Paralanguage is culturally determined, so interaction with other ethnic groups may lead to misunderstandings. Even if people speak the same languages there could be many misunderstandings. Like in Between the World and Me Coates talks about his life and how people do not understand the stuff he had to go through or others have to go through. I have lived in this country my whole life and i can not relate to many things that Coates talks about. We live in a country that has many different cultures, even though we might speak the same language and have similar lifestyles. We are actually very different because of our views and beliefs. This is all because of how we were raised. This story shows a good example of cultural systems. There are prime examples of cultural systems around us. You can look at the various elements that govern the way in which people construct ideas and behaviors, and these elements form a cultural system together. I really wanted to find a quote that would go with this definition of a Cultural system but this whole entire book is an example of this.
I have only been taking cultural anthropology for a month now, I came to the class with an ethnocentric view and I can see it changing to a view surrounded around cultural relativism. I believe that if everyone came out of their comfort zones or in this case the views of their culture, they could see other people’s views and ways and they could connect with each other. This could solve so many problems in our lives today, cultural anthropology has taught me so much in just a short span and I am excited to learn what it has in store for me. Overall, I want you to pass on all these lessons you have learned, I want you to share them with people. Show people that everyone goes through something and we just need to find a way to connect with them so we could all live in harmony. I know that I was all over the place in this letter, I am not sure you will fully understand what I have been trying to tell you. That is why I want you to read this book for yourself.
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