4 November 2014
Fourteen year old table
Lawrence Otis Graham’s essay “The Black Table is Still There” focuses primarily on segregation of blacks and whites; at his old junior high school. Only to be shocked when Graham finds out the black table is still there. Although Race was not the only thing that separated students, Graham expresses how he realized he was wrong all along; students segregated themselves upon common interest and not by race. When Graham revisited his old junior high school he was astonished to find that the black table he dreaded so much still existed. Each afternoon graham found himself; thinking the same thing: he would never sit at the black table. Graham had one very simple explanation; he would lose his white friends. This belief stemmed from an idea that the black table stood as an anti-white statement. As Graham continues to examine the black table and what it stands for he comes to realize that perhaps his original findings weren’t correct at all. In the same way that the black students were segregating themselves; so were white students. Graham explains that tables were chosen based on interest or belief. So why was the all black table more intimidating and attention grabbing? Graham claims that perhaps it is the color difference that brings out these reactions in people. Regardless of mandated integration, groups will still segregate themselves. They will divide based on common interests or backgrounds even in today’s society. The fact that segregation still happens today only indicates that it will stick around.
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