As I learned the word “Intersectionality” in the very first discussion class, I’ve kept thinking about that for the last several days. What is interesting to me is that I feel these intersectional relations are very unique in America, but not so much in Japan. Of course, Japanese culture and some of its related issues across multiple fields. For instance, the economic matters and political decisions are always influenced each other. Sometimes, they result in awful social situation, such as economical gaps between rich and poor. But still, regarding of racial issues in America, I believe the intersectional way of thinking is much more important in America than in Japan and one of the reasons why I think is that we don’t have that kind of issues in Japan.
Professor Ely’s lecture about race relations in the U.S. gave me some crucial information. He stated that Black people consist only 11% of the whole population of the United States. 11% is not small but that was much smaller than I expected. Then why did I think that there were more Blacks in the U.S.? It might because African-Americans in the U.S. has gotten attention from all over the world. And I’ve actually had opportunities to learn and think about it. That is, everyone who has ever studied at least a little bit about American history knows how they are important to the U.S. Therefore, it is natural to say that whatever field we might cogitate about, we need to take into account racial matters in the very first place.
I also found an interesting thing which includes the idea of intersectionality, through the Slave Trail in Richmond. The guide, Kate, said that the people could not simply abolish the slave imports because of the economic damage that might be occurred. I know about agricultural yield problems which related to slaves. But I have never thought of people who would lose their jobs when slaves imports stopped, like ships’ owners, captains, sailors, merchants and so on. At the time of Civil War, the South didn’t want to disuse slaves because of not only yield decrease but also employment matters. This was really new to me.
Through all of the experiences in here, I realized that the racial influences are much bigger than I’ve ever imagined and it is the matter at the center of American culture. Even music, such as jazz, have been affected. Thus, racial diversity and its relations among other fields are my greatest interest now. I believe that they are the things that worth learning here in the U.S. so I am so glad to have more opportunities to think about it and I will make the most of them.