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The Background of the Research Racial problems still have a very strong effect on the lives of black people in the United States. Black people are still oppressed by the white society. People use racial disparities as the basis for discrimination and prejudice which believed that blacks are inferior to whites. As Louis Tyson mentioned in her book Critical Theory Today in relating to the racial problem in Americans society that ―Many Americans of all colors know, however, racism has not disappeared: it‘s just gone ―underground‖. That is, racial injustice in the United States is still a major and pressing problem‖ (2006:367). The quotation above clearly explains that America is still the most racist country toward black people. It can be defined that being different race to another, black people should remain segregated from one another. This condition shows black people is still undefined as a group who is living in oppressive environment. Racism is not just the act of prejudging a person, but it continues to influence in the form of institutional racism where blacks discriminated by the dominant group in the social institution, such as race-based discrimination in housing, education, employment, governmental organization, courts of law, health care and more. It occurs when institutions discriminate a certain group of people just because they belong to a different race or culture. This condition makes minority people to be less acceptable in the following social institution. Specifically, the unique experiences of 1 Pertiwi women of color have been largely ignored by the social institution in the United States. As Massey and Denton stated in Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era: ..., the institutionalized racism that African-American women encounter relies heavily on racial segregation and accompanying discriminatory practices designed to deny U.S. Blacks equitable treatment. Despite important strides to desegregate U.S. society since 1970, racial segregation remains deeply entrenched in housing, schooling, and employment (qtd in Scott Appelrouth and Laura Desfor 2010:338). From the quotation above, it is clearly seen that race becomes the high rate problem in the United States. It becomes an obstacle for black people, especially for black women, to fight the unfairness and segregation in the following social institution. In this research, the writer focuses on race-based discrimination in the field of education where educated black women are still degraded by their peers in attending American institution. This phenomenon can be found in Alice Walker three selected short stories that speaks to the black people struggle, especially for black women, who are still treated differently than the whites in getting higher education in the United States. Those selected stories represent educated black women whose encounter some difficulties to socialize with their white counterparts, especially white female domination in attending American college. The setting of the story is in the 1960‘s and 70‘s where at that time the blacks constitute as an oppressed group in the United States. 2 Pertiwi In this research, the writer focuses on three selected short stories from the book You Can‘t Keep a Good Woman Down (1981). The book itself is written by feminist author who is best known for defending black women‘s standpoint, Alice Walker. Three selected stories that the writer chooses in this study tell about black‘s life, especially for black women‘s experience that still got discrimination, segregation and oppression from white women domination in the form of institutionalized racism. How white women society see black women‘s position in existing in the world of education. As the best contemporary African American woman writer, Walker is also acclaimed as the preeminent author in exploring her ideas about black women in pursuing their rights and equality as same as white women‘s position in the United States. Hence, she has been defined as a black feminist writer who explores the major themes that remain unchanged, talking about a special concern by exploring the insanities of black women struggle to cast fear aside from the unfairness treatment by white society. As Tara Clark argues in her online article ―About Alice Walker‖ that as a writer, Alice Walker deals with many issues, most of which concern historical and modern race problems in America. Through this she brings to national attention the cruelty and inhumane abuse that African Americans have endured. This general topic can be broken down into many areas that she feels are important for people to know and to learn from‖ (1999). Indeed, most of Walker‘s works are concentrated on African American women‘ survival in dignity for the sake of the social acceptance. With this statement, it can be 3 Pertiwi concluded that most of Walker‘s works deal mostly on African American experience of life in the dominant group. By describing a brief description and coherent relation among the issue, the book and the author above, the writer is interested in analysing black women‘s experiences who have been marginalized by white women society in making significant strides in the world education. The writer finds this issue in three selected short stories by Alice Walker You Can‘t Keep a Good Woman Down (1981): ―A Letter of the Times, or Should This Sado-Masochism Be Saved?‖, ―A Sudden Trip Home in the Spring‖ and ―Source‖. There are several reasons why the writer chooses those three selected short stories from the book You Can‘t Keep a Good Woman Down (1981) by Alice Walker. Firstly, the stories contain modern racial problems where African American woman becomes a strong figure for being able to overcome some barriers in resisting oppression and discrimination. Here, Walker as the author of this book creates a new image for colored women who are capable to fight for getting their rights and equal opportunities toward society in all cases. Walker is also trying to portrait all black women as feisty women who can solve their obstacles head on in facing all the risks that they have endured in oppressive environment. Secondly, the issue that appears in these selected stories is different from as usual Walker‘s recurrent topics before in her literary works. As we have already known before, many of the topics she wrote in her works are exploring about domestic violence, black women‘s role in patriarchal society who are dominated even violated by black and white men and the conflict with sexism that African American 4 Pertiwi women have endured. But, in these stories, Walker stresses on the importance of higher education issue for black women so that they will be treated fairly by the society in order to achieve better life.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Pascasarjana Tesis
Depositing User: Ms Lyse Nofriadi
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 04:51
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2016 04:51
URI: http://scholar.unand.ac.id/id/eprint/278

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