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How did E.R. Braithwaite encounter racial prejudice and racism and how did he overcome it?

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Veroxxy77 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 24, 2013 at 11:55 AM via web

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How did E.R. Braithwaite encounter racial prejudice and racism and how did he overcome it?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM (Answer #1)

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One way in which Braithwaite encounters racial prejudice is through his experiences in London.  As a man of color at the time, racial prejudice was found both within the school and outside of it.  Some of Braithwaite's colleagues refer to his race in their initial interactions.  Braithwaite's students are adolescents who have already been infected with racial prejudice.  Their encounters with him are examples of the racism he must confront.  In his relationship with Gillian, Braithwaite encounters the fear that racism cause, seen in the trepidations that Mr. Blanchard expresses regarding his daughter's love for a man of color.

In each of these settings, Braithwaite challenges racism and discrimination in never doubting himself.  He challenges the prejudice he encounters by offering himself as a testimony against it.  The manner in which he displays dignity, confidence, and a sense of resolve in refusing to let racism define him becomes his answer to it.  Braithwaite recognizes that prejudice can be overcome when one is willing to face it and withstand its initial discomfort.  In the moments when he faces racial prejudice, Braithwaite does not allow racism and prejudice to define he and his interactions with people.  He asserts his identity to rise above it.

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