""Success is to be measured not so much by the position
that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which were overcome while
trying to succeed. . . ."
--Booker T. Washington
Discussion Topics for Black History Month
If you have come to the United States from
another land, what fears did you have about coming? Were these fears justified?
How [have you had/are you having to adapt] to fit into American culture?
What aspects of your native culture do you most want to maintain? What
difficulties, if any, have you encountered in maintaining these?
If your parents or grandparents immigrated
to the United States before you were born, briefly tell what motivated them
to come. How does their native culture differ from American culture? What
aspects of their native culture have they tried to preserve? How many of
these traditions do you maintain?
Prejudice and Discrimination
Examine the definitions of "prejudice" and
"discrimination." How are they similiar? How are they different? Is prejudice
ever appropriate? What about discrimination? If so, list some situations
in which one should be demonstrated. Explain your reasoning.
Have you ever been the victim of prejudice
or discrimination? Tell about the situation. How did you feel about the treatment
you received? How did you respond? Looking back, are you satisfied with the
way you responded or have you thought of something that might have been a
more appropriate response?
Have you ever witnessed someone else's suffering
from prejudice? How did you react? Did you get involved? Why or why not?
What actions can we take when we see someone being unjustly discriminated
Is racial tension a recent problem, or have
racial conflicts existed in previous centuries? Give specific examples
to support your answer. In your opinion, is racial conflict a greater
problem today than it has been in previous years? If so, explain why. If
not, share why you believe the problem racial conflict is receiving so must
Do you believe that racial harmony exists in
the United States? Why or why not? Give specific examples to support your
answer. Why do you think some races tend to get along better than
In your opinion, what is the greatest hindrance
to racial harmony? Why? What can be done to remove this hindrance? How can
you help to solve the problem?
Do you believe the government could do anything
to promote racial harmony? If so, should the government intervene in race
relations? Why or why not? How might increased government action help solve
racial problems? What are the potential dangers of increased government
involvement in the lives of citizens?
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