This essay is an explanation of the ways in which society would benefit from a greater understanding of what Pratt calls "contact zones." No summary of this essay would be complete without providing a definition of contact zones. According to Pratt, contact zones are social spaces in which different cultures come into contact with each other and clash. She points out that there are many challenges for those living in a contact zone, including clashes of culture and language.
Pratt opens her essay by providing an example of how contact zones had an impact on her six-year-old son. Through the medium of baseball cards, Sam learned about a variety of subjects, including language, science, and math. Pratt frames this knowledge of baseball as her child's point of contact, or "contact zone," with adults.
She also uses the example of a text called "The First New Chronicle and Good Government" and makes the point that art is generally a depiction of oppressors from the perspective of the oppressed.
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