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Word Count: 518
In her essay Shades of Black Mary Mebane uses her personal experiences to analyze the different divisions and classifications within the African-American race From Mebanes essay it is clear to see that division and classification primarily effect black women Mebane explains a situation in which she was in where a light-skinned teacher called her into the office She did this to tell Mebane that she scored the highest on the verbal section of a test that all freshman had to take 255 Mebane saw the situation as the teacher questioning the score She feels that the faculty favored light-skinned people to dark-skinned people because light-skinned people seemed to be more intelligent This is where I think her experiences shape this essay She assumed all of the teachers intentions There was no proof of whether the teacher called her into the office to congratulate her or to question her Within the African-American race it is clearer to see the division of the classes For example Mebane talks about another personal experience where someone named Hazel who was light brown commented on how Mebane was safe because she was dark but not dark dark This made Mebane feel inferior and she thought she would have had to kill herself if she were a shade darker257 This is a good example of how the blacks made other blacks feel low Maybe it was not all in Mebanes head She explains a situation that arose when she was in high school When she was a freshman there was a sophomore who was smart and caramel-colored Mebane knew that even though she deserved the best girl scholar award from her high school this other girl Rose would get it Unfortunately Mebane was right She did not receive the award until her senior year when Rose graduated 258 This situation prevailed not only at school and work but black males were also big contributors to the lack of self-esteem that some
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