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Word Count: 797
Henry L Gates Jrs In the Kitchen presents how the author deals with the contradiction between pride in ones own background and desired assimilation into the mainstream society Gates primarily underscores the complicated experience that many African Americans undergo through his display of hair Consequently the two opposing issues of blending in with society and showing a sense of pride come together in his response to the struggle between making similar and reminiscing about his childhood when he hears Nat King Cole sing on the radio Gates urges his audience to understand his experience by making a vivid imagery of the hair investigations and his recount of Nat King Cole Gates symbolizes the kitchen as his own culture background He begins longing for the process of resembling to the society when he observes his mother and relatives straightening their hair in the kitchen He emphasizes the significance of hairstyles in his childhood and adolescence Having hair straight is extremely important for African American as a status symbol The kitchen was permanent irredeemable irresistible kink 57 He implies that one should accept ones identity because no matter how the kinky hair may be wavy it will never be straightened in his mind Gates uses the investigations of straightening hair to show the pride and how he makes himself resembling to the mainstream society Gates confesses that he had Su 2 spent most of my childhood and adolescence messing with my hair 59 By social opinion Gates tries to straighten his hair because he wants to be part of the organized group with good hair which is referred to a white persons straight hair His community influences his effort of trying to make his hair wavy and incorporate into the society He intensively tries to become alike to the society by the hair investigations because his family and community are dealing with the same situation
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