11 November, 2009
Professor Jane Kitchen
Race and relations in our community has been one of the biggest problems and themesdiscussed in the Unites States. The United States is one of the biggest countries in the world, and people from different countries with different cultures of the world are imigrating here, for manyspecial reason that we cannot even imagine. A theme that both “Story of My Body” by Judith Ortiz Cofer and “Cool Like Me” by Donnell Alexander have in common is how racial stereotypes affect peoplemore in their youth but as they get older their experiences helped them realize that is what you have inside of you that matters.
“The Story of My Body” and “Cool Like Me” both begin by tellingstories of each other’s chilhood. Judith Ortiz Cofer was labelled as a “gringa” or a “paloma blanca” as some of the nicknames she received when she was in Puerto Rico living with her family. Ortiz wastreated like a princess, being the only child. When her family moved to the United States things begin to change. Once she went to a toil store as a child and the “Italian” person (a store employee)constantly made fun of her skin color, such as calling her hands “dirty” because of her darker skin. He said “Don’t come in here unless you going to buy something. You PR kids put your dirty hands onstuff. You always look dirty. But maybe dirty brown is your natural color” (“The Story of My Body” p. 345). She felt like people from Africa had when they first got their freedom after the Civil War.A person’s personality cannot be judged just by looking at height, weight, skin color, etc. All Ortiz wanted to do was to look at the Sussie doll because she wanted to add it to her Christmas list,but the store employee would not even let her look at. The story told in “Cool Like Me” is a little different. In Alexander’s childhood he was not descriminated against personally but in a group...