Sample Social Work Paper and Human Services on White vs. Black Demographic

Tell me about growing up

I was born in a family of five, three siblings and my parents. I am the last born in our family and I consider myself lucky since I get to learn from my elder brother and sister. My father is White and my mother is black so we are an interracial family. I was brought up in a White dominated neighborhood and many of my values and behaviors have been shaped by the interactions I have had with my neighborhood kids. Growing up I knew we were different because children at school and even those in my neighborhood had a different skin color. I remember one time when we were very young when my friend asked me why I was darker than her and I did not have an answer. When we went to a store with my mum, I recognized the stares given to us and at a young age I thought it was normal. It was only after I was able to understand racial discrimination that I realized all the people giving us stares were either afraid of us or curious. The experience was different with my dad since he got treated well whenever he went. My father is a businessman and the fact that he is White he does not endure the same profiling that my siblings and my mother face constantly. Whites are given preferential treatment while blacks are poorly treated in many places due to racial discrimination (Nunnally, 2012). I remember when we went shopping with my father and the attendant asked my father if I was adopted. Growing up, therefore, was challenging because I did not know whether to call myself white or black.

What traditions are important to you?

I come from a closely knit family and although my siblings are already married we still find time to have a family lunch once per month. Family for me is important because they are the only people who will genuinely be with you in good and bad times. A family also helps one acquire social status in the community. My parents are well known and loved within the neighborhood and due to their relations with other people; they have ensured that we as their children have the right social status. The family dinner includes my siblings’ spouses and their children. It is the only time of the month I look forward to since I get to spend quality time with my family including my dad whom I rarely see due to his work.

I also enjoy attending church with my family. I was brought up in a Christian home. My mother is a strong believer in God and as a result we have all being brought up believing in a superior being. Church is also a family event but since my other siblings are already married, only my father, mother and I attend church. There are times when I have almost given up due to some of the challenges I encounter but prayer and faith has always helped me deal with these issues. Religion offers a sense of stability and understanding of issues for believers. Attending church is, therefore, a tradition I love practicing with my family.

What do you think is different between you and me?

I believe that all individuals are equal but our experiences are different. One of the things I believe is different between you and me are the experiences you have had growing up. I know that you grew up in a community that was largely inhabited by African Americans and so I think you did not experience the same level of indifference that I experienced growing up. I had many questions about why my skin was different and I was treated differently for it. I believe that your experience was different mainly because you attended schools where there were many blacks and you might not suffer from the same low esteem issues as I did growing up.

In addition, I think you have a better chance of succeeding in making friends than I do due to our upbringing. The experiences I had growing up made it difficult to identify myself as black or white. Social learning theory states that individuals learn behaviors and develop character based on the interactions they have with other people when growing up (Parke, 2014). The racial discrimination I got from some of the people that I interacted with might have negatively impacted how I view people. On the other hand, my family has helped me deal with the self-esteem issues and religion too has helped me accept people will always treat me differently. If you did not have the same experiences I believe you are different from me.

What do you know about me?

I know that you are an African American female, well-educated and passionate about helping other people. The first time we met was in one of the courses offered in the school. I sat behind you and you turned said hello with a smile. At first I was shocked that someone could talk to a stranger. I have seen you helping out students with their assignments as well as take part in some of the charity initiatives in school. I also know that you are hardworking and serious about your studies.

If I went to a religious or spiritual event with you, what would I experience?

One of the things that you would experience is a lot of singing. The first segment in church is praise and worship. We spend this time worshipping and offering our prayers. I especially like this segment because it gives me an opportunity to really focus on God and his mercies upon my life. I have come to realize that I am not the only one who looks forward to this segment since many of the believers are already in church by the time this segment begins.

Another thing that you would experience is sharing of the word. In every Christian event, there is a person who reads and preaches the word to the congregants. The congregant sits and listens to the preacher talk about the message he has received from God. There is a lot of shouting to show agreement with what the preacher is saying from the congregants. It is exciting and at the same time very intimidating to watch women and elderly men from the congregation stand up and shout Amen. There is a high probability that you too will be sucked into the frenzy if you are a believer. The experience you will have in our church can lead you to either become a believer or hate this religion.

References

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Parke, R. D. (2014). Recent Trends in Social Learning Theory. Burlington: Elsevier Science.

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Nunnally, S. C. (2012). Trust in Black America: Race, discrimination, and politics. New York: New York University Press.

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