Friday Black Symbols & Objects

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
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Emmanuel's blue button-up shirt

The shirt Emmanuel buys in "The Finkelstein 5" is a symbol of respectability. Emmanuel repeatedly references the fact that African Americans are viewed differently depending on what they are wearing, and he believes this shirt will make him appear non-threatening and, perhaps, even professional in the eyes of the person interviewing him for a job. However, when Emmanuel is accosted by the security guard while leaving the store with the shirt, the shirt signifies that its symbolism of respectability is a sham. African Americans will always be confronted by people who think the worst of them regardless of their attire, behavior, or accomplishments.

Shoelookers

The shoelookers in "The Era" are a symbol of this dystopian society's disdain for emotional displays. The shoelookers (presumably called this because they are always looking down) are taunted and scorned because they exhibit emotions; Ben describes a game the...

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This section contains 1,187 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Friday Black Study Guide
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