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How to Write a Cultural Autobiography

Cultural Autobiography Essay Sample

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Though I attempted to use websites such as www. I, too, am an adult, but in my family, age comes before everything; and because I am younger, I am treated as such and am expected to behave a certain manner towards the elders in my family.

So begins the learning of the nature of my familial circle! I went through several adults before obtaining any information.

I received no information from the men and minimal information from the females. Much of my information I had to remember from what my grandmother told me which had to be pieced together with information from cousins and my brother. My grandfather is the only one of my grandparents still alive today. His mother was a slave descendent and his father was a landowner. I could not retrieve names or dates for his parents' births or deaths or their marriage.

My great-grandmother's biological father was white and her mother's race remains unknown to me. Because my great-grandmother had very pale skin and soft, dark and wavy hair, I cannot assume that her mother was of African descent or of Cherokee Indian descent as were several of my great-great aunts and uncles.

Information was quite limited on the Cherokee Indian background of blacks in Virginia and North Carolina. I did, however, find the following information on why this may be the case. DeMarce] work is mentioned here because there are thousands of African Americans from Virginia, and the Carolinas who claim Native American Ancestry, yet have no direction as to where to go to document this relationship.

The effort to trace Indian ancestry from the Upper South is probably one of the more challenging areas of Black-Indian Genealogy. Unlike the extensive records to be found in the Five Civilized Tribes, there was a deliberate effort of the United States to eliminate other tribes by officially eliminating them from the Federal Census. In the early 's it was not uncommon to learn that many tribes were simply "terminated".

As a result, among those families where Indian ancestors lived, they were frequently listed as mulatto, or as white, depending upon the complexion of the individuals enumerated. This official "termination" gave the impression that the population in the United States was either black or white. This challenge in locating Indian ancestors from this region must be clearly understood by the family historian from the beginning. Formerly at Bryn Mawr College, Serendip is now an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world.

Please update your bookmarks, and happy exploring. The gangs the Bloods and the Crips often ran the streets late and night, and my mother knew that the streets were not safe. My mother refused to allow me to be part of the growing statistics of Latino high school dropouts. I was taught that I am to strive to be able to provide a better life than what I experienced, for my children and for myself.

I learned that I was Puerto Rican very early on in my life. My father is one of 13 children and he is dyslexic and has an 8 th grade education. My family at one point was middle class. My mother, in became disabled due to complications with diabetes and chronic asthma. Once my mother stopped working, the total household income fell dramatically.

I attended both primary and secondary school in East Harlem. The way the New York City board of education divided the city was by district. Students were required unless they receive special permission from the city to apply to schools within their district. My class, the kindergarten class of , was the last class which IQ testing was required for entry in my specific school.

I stood with the same class for the next 8 years. Some of my peers often times thought I was white, but once they heard my last name, they knew I was Hispanic. I never remembered my racial identity being questioned until I moved on to high school. In my primary and middle school years, I was not viewing myself as a raced body yet.

When I was young, I had not encountered race and I was unaware, since I was a part of the majority, I never really realized if I was experiencing marginalization or not Moyenda, When I was in middle school, I was highly encouraged to apply to private schools and boarding schools.

I applied to scholarship assistance programs such as A Better Chance, in hopes that I would receive the financial assistance I needed in order to attend these institutions. My mother felt that sending me away was the best chance I had to receive the best education possible. I ended up not attending The Millbrook School because I was not able to afford the tuition. The way the New York City high school system is constructed, students are able to travel to any high school that they want to pending acceptance.

The Dominican students would often talk Spanish in the hallways, in classes and after school. Because I had been isolated in such a small classroom structure during the entirety of my primary and middle school career, I had never met a Dominican person before. I saw that they knew Spanish, and were communicating in Spanish, knew more Spanish music than I did and they had more friends. By experiencing these microinvalidations, I began to question my experiential reality.

What does it mean to be Latino? Was there a formula? My peers were negating my racial identity because I was not able to speak Spanish though my cultural upbringing was extremely Latino-centric. This in turn discouraged me from being determined to learn Spanish and communicate with my Latino peers.

I had a very hard time navigating whether the students were being intentional about their insults, or unintentional.

Because I was being marginalized within my own high school community, I was often excluded from conversations, activities and social events. Deciding to do nothing by sitting on ones anger is one response [to microagressions] that occurs frequently in people of color… we submit that not doing anything has the potential to result in psychological harm. I slowly began to not participate in affinity groups.

For my part, I still do not like to have very cold drinks. However, I do not make any suggestion about what other people should drink. In explaining how my family has influenced me, I should discuss some basic elements about Chinese culture.

It is collectivist culture, not individual culture like America. That means that Mainland Chinese society tends to see the group as being more important than the person. The question then is who is the group. Based on stereotypical Western movies or shows, it would be easy to assume that nearly all Chinese act and look alike and that they would see themselves as one group. In fact, this is not true at all.

Chinese people think in much smaller terms, most typically, and would see their immediate family, including elders such as parents and grandparents, as their group. In some sense, they would also consider old friends and former and current co-workers to be part of their group.

It is not so common in Mainland China to make many new friends as adulthood. People in China depend on these tight networks to help them in hard times, and they have to be ready to repay the favor at some point in the future. Tight informal networks are very important for getting by in life in China.

Chinese culture value family piety. It means we believe in a strong obligation to respect and honor our family members. In a broad sense, family members, because all consider themselves a close group, would do almost anything to help each other. As is said in English, they would take the shirt from his or her own back to give to the other person. This kind of thinking is based on Confucianism, where taking care of the family is considered to be the highest value.

Unfortunately, a related matter is that sometimes in Mainland China, people are not as quick to get involved when a stranger needs help, and some people without integrity are quick to take advantage of strangers and cheat them.

We also do not have as much public volunteer and charity culture, as many people would feel guilty if they spend their money on people who are outside their own family. The concept of taking care of the family is so important to culture that it is sometimes humorous to other people from other countries.

I once was at dinner in a group that included both American and international students. Some people were talking about what they would do if they won the lottery. A Chinese boy said he guessed that if he won, he would soon get married, and have a child. His friend, another boy from China, commented that the money would not only last for the lifetime for him and his son, but also for generations into the future.

They thought they should use the money for their own fun, and would not like to get married. However, the Chinese students were looking from Chinese point of view, where not only the individual but the entire family name and bloodline is considered.

They see a responsibility to their ancestors and to future bloodline that they should have a child. Personally, I like the viewpoint of thinking about multiple generations and not only focusing on the present. I have always been raised by my family to hold this point of view. Without a network of family and close friends, it is hard to survive in China, especially during hard times several decades ago. It is not so easy to get credit, so people rely on their networks to help them make a down payment for a house.

Many people lack health insurance, and so if they needed and expensive surgery, they could perhaps ask their closest family and associates for help with money. As a result of these factors, Chinese people spend a lot of time cultivating their networks by choosing the right gifts on holidays, offering a helping hand when possible, and asking for help when needed.

On the other hand, if you do have a family, then you feel much more secure and happy. You also get a large amount of your own identity from the group rather from your individual situation. It is important to behave well in society and try to be successful not only for your own sake, but also in order to create a good name for your family.

Therefore I think that sometimes even if I do not feel like studying sometimes, I push myself to do so anyway, because if I came to America and did not perfect well in university, then I would create a bad impression on my family, including parents and extended relatives, as well.

In fact, Chinese people from Mainland often do not like to spend time alone or to be in secluded places. We tend to like crowds and a lot of excitement and perceive them as safer because it would be harder for criminals to get away with serious crime amid a crowd.

I felt strongly this way when I first arrived in America, but now I am getting used to peace and quiet. I have heard that Americans often like to go camping or fishing in order to get away from other people.

This concept is a little different from China. I remember showing my mother a picture of our campus and she wanted to know why it looked so lonely. Later I took a photo when more students were out walking, and she seemed to feel much more comforted that I was in a safe place.

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Cultural autobiography essays I come from a very small community where everybody is pretty much the same, there's not much diversity. My only outlet in my community to other cultures is the news and media.

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It is collectivist culture, not individual culture like America. That means that Mainland Chinese society tends to see the group as being more important than the person. The question then is who is the group.

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This essay Cultural Autobiography is available for you on Essayscom! Search Term Papers, College Essay Examples and Free Essays on Essayscom - full papers database. Search Term Papers, College Essay Examples and Free Essays on Essayscom - full papers database.4/4(1). Cultural Autobiography By Summer Benson Start by describing the cultural aspects of your family background (attitudes, beliefs and values). My mom was adopted at the .

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