The Ecology of Race
In America today, the categories of masters and slaves are no longer directly applicable. Other labels are now used, such as majority and minority, upper class and lower class, male and female, able-bodied and disabled, and of course white and black. These labels in part connote a similar message, suggesting that the relationship dynamics emanating from a master-slave history remain and have influenced the ways Americans—blacks, whites, and others—experience their ecology and themselves. For these reasons we believe it is imperative to examine the influence of race on the human ecology. It provides a vehicle for moving beyond our ethnic ecosystems and reorganizing our perceptions of the world to acknowledge that there are a multitude of ways to be human and live competently. An examination of racial dynamics informs our understanding of human ecology by providing a prototype for examining the relationship characteristics among people who are similar to each other, among people who are different from each other, and in particular among people who hold different positions of power within a heterogeneous society. The examination of relationships among members of white and black America is particularly instructive because race relations, apart from ethnic relations, have played such a pivotal role in shaping the fundamental ways in which individual Americans perceive themselves and organize their lives.
KeywordsWorld View Racial Identity Black People Ecological Evaluation Personal Power
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.