1. On February 1, 1960, four African-American students of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University made a daring move of sitting down at a white-only lunch counter inside a Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth’s store. Other sit-ins had been held elsewhere in the United States, but the Greensboro sit-in was the catalyst for a wave of nonviolent protests against segregation across the nation. The four black students were all male and had meticulously planned this peaceful protest beforehand. Once they had sat down at the lunch counter they requested service and they were denied it, and the Woolworth’s store manager requested that the students leave the premises. Black people were othered due to the fact that they could not be served at or sit in the same place as white people. These students did not want to remain the other, so they peacefully protested the racial segregation laws in place. This protest spiked many more sit-ins with a much larger group of people. But, this did come at a cost, “As the protests grew, opposition grew vociferous. Crowds of white men began appearing at lunch counters to harass the protesters, often by spitting, uttering abusive language, and throwing eggs” (Murray). While the protests were non violent and peaceful, the white people reacted violently with much aggression. Black people were not even able to fight for something they believed in due to the rude white people physically harassing them while they did nothing other than sit at a lunch counter and request service. 2. In To Kill a Mockingbird Tom Robinson is on trial for rape of Mayella Ewell a white girl. In the trial, Atticus gives more than enough evidence to prove that Mayella was lying and she had actually tempted Tom and her father beat her. But, the jury was influenced by the racial discrimination and Atticus explained, “In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins” (Lee 295). Tom was convicted of rape and did not even have a fair chance at being found innocent due to the color of his skin. Tom Robinson also could not win the case because it was his word, a black man’s, against Bob Ewell’s, a white man’s word. He could not convince the jury he was innocent because their beliefs and ideas were greatly impacted by the racist society they were raised in. Tom’s trial relates to the Greensboro sit-in because they were both denied something important, freedom to sit and eat where they want to and a chance of the jury seeing Tom as an innocent man. The sit-in conducted by the four students was a peaceful way to tell the world that they were tired of being stepped on by white people, just as Tom was in his trial, and that is was time to change the ways of the United States. They were all othered due to the color of their skin, which should not be a reason of discrimination.
1. Malala Yousafzai is a young girl who grew up in Swat Valley in Pakistan. In Pakistan at this time, giving birth to a baby girl is not generally a cause to celebrate, but Malala’s father, Ziauddin, values gender equality unlike most other men living there. He is determined to provide his daughter with the exact same opportunities that a boy would have. He also makes a valuable promise to his family, “Ziauddin, an educator, promises that Malala will go to school and be treated with equality in his home” (“Malala’s”). In 2007, the Taliban moved into the Swat Valley and banned girls from going to school and enforced harsh punishments. This caused many families including Malala’s to flee their homes in hope of finding a safe place to stay for the time being. Once the Pakistan forces pushed the Taliban militants back out of Swat Valley, Malala’s school reopens and although she is slightly fearful of the Taliban for speaking out against them, she returns to school and openly campaigns for girls’ rights to go to school. Due to her activation, the Taliban were angered by Malala’s actions and one day a masked gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head, neck and shoulder. After many surgeries and long recovery time, Malala miraculously survived and her perseverance increased her support for speaking out for education for girls and against the Taliban. Malala began travelling to meet many inspirational people as well as go to the places where women were harshly discriminated against in order to show the world her message about education and equality for girls. Malala was “othered” by the Taliban because they did not want her to learn or speak out against their actions. She refused to be marginalized and made her voice heard through her many meetings with world leaders and creating, with the help of her father, the Malala Fund, which is an organisation devoted to providing all girls across the world with education. With all of Malala’s hard work, she became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17 in 2014. Malala’s strong desire to be educated eventually lead to a campaign that changed the world and the availability of education to girls and women. 2. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout begins to see the inequality and unjust treatment of women especially in law and etiquette. After watching the trial of Tom Robinson, Scout questions why Miss Maudie could not serve on a jury and Atticus responds with, “For one thing, Miss Maudie can’t serve on a jury because she’s a woman… I guess it’s to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom’s” (Lee 296). During this time period, men tried to protect women through not allowing them to be educated about the terrible things going on in the world. Most people also thought that women would not be smart enough or know how to run a jury, so the case would not be productive. The men at this time were very close-minded to the possibility of women to be smart and competent in something. They were also expected to look pretty, sit properly, and enjoy tea time with one another while the men of the household went out and earned money for the family. Malala was also experiencing forms of the problems Scout is encountering and they both question the rationale for these ways. Scout starts to see the unjust treatment of women as Malala did and realizes the limitations placed in women and girls. Scout realized that she would not receive the same treatment and acceptance as Jem and other boys, and that girls should not be "othered" based on their gender.
1. Beautiful Red Dress is a song written and sung by Laurie Anderson in 1989 when a large wave of feminism was spreading throughout the United States. In this song, Anderson talks about the beautiful red dress she wears while going about her day and about the gender inequality she wants to change. At this time, women were thought of as incapable and weak compared to men. They were very frequently told to stay at the house to do housework and take care of the children while the men go out and earn money for the family. Women were being “othered” because society would not take a women who wanted to work or do anything than stay at home seriously. They were thought of as inferior to men and Laurie Anderson tried to show the world that those stereotypes aren’t true. She also brings up the unfair wages being given to women and calls upon them to realize the faults in our society. Anderson says, “OK! OK! Hold it! I just want to say something. You know, for every dollar a man makes a woman makes 63 cents. Now, fifty years ago that was 62 cents. So, with that kind of luck, it'll be the year 3,888 before we make a buck” (Anderson). Clearly angered by this unjust treatment, Laurie is trying to bring women together around the world to fight against gender inequality and otherness. Not only does she discuss the difference in the amount of money being paid to men and women, but the job availability to women. Anderson’s point still relates to this day, “Well they say women shouldn't be the president, cause we go crazy from time to time” (Anderson). At that time there was not a woman president yet, and there still hasn’t been one to this day. Laurie is directly saying that women should not be “othered” and marginalized, but they should have the same chance for any job, wage, or career path as men. 2. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem often rudely taunts Scout by calling her a girl and saying that she needs to stop being one. Jem views girls as a weak gender that do not like to do anything fun besides sitting inside in dresses, staying clean. He also believes they are easily frightened and tend to back out of situations when the circumstance is precarious. Laurie Anderson was voicing her complaints about the way girls were being treated through this song and Scout is experiencing the unjust treatment brought up by Anderson. Jem often tells Scout that she needs to stop being a girl, inferring that it is a bad thing to be a girl. Laurie was trying to get girls to realize how terrible they were being treated, and it takes Scout quite a bit of time to recognize that what Jem says and does is often wrong. When Jem and Scout are told by Atticus that they could not play a game called Boo Radley, Jem wants to continue playing, but Scout tells Jem that they really should not, he ridicules Scout for saying it. After, she relays the message to the reader, “Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls always imagined things, that’s why other people hated them so, and if I started behaving like one I could just go off and find some to play with” (Lee 54). Jem categorizes girls as useless and annoying, similar to the problems in our society being brought up in the song Beautiful Red Dress. In both To Kill a Mockingbird and Beautiful Red Dress, woman are marginalized and “othered” because they do not have the same opportunities and acceptance from society as men.
1. This image was taken by Elliot Erwitt and shows a drinking fountain in North Carolina in 1950. It has two signs that read "White" and "Colored." During this time period, racial segregation was a serious problem. Black people were not allowed to eat, drink, or even go to school with white people. The water fountain that was designated for white people is clearly more lavish and luxurious compared to the water fountain for black people that seems to be an afterthought. The water fountain for black people seems to be an add-on due to the pipe connecting from the white fountain to the black fountain. The black person drinking water in the photo seems to be gazing at the white fountain longingly, wishing they were treated equally and could drink from the same fountain as all other people. This photo was taken during a time of extreme prejudice towards black people, where that race was othered especially in the southern states. They were thought of as inferior to white people and not deserving of equal treatment. White people during this time frequently had the mindset that they were superior and thought of the black people as "those other people." 2. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee, there is a strong essence of themes regarding otherness, racism, and prejudice. In the book, the town of Maycomb is very hypocritical to black people. They are treated and thought of poorly in this small southern town in Alabama. Although the image was taken in North Carolina about twenty years after the book is set, the themes exemplified are connected through the unjust treatment of black people. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem and Scout Finch see otherness in their own society especially towards the black people during the trial of Tom Robinson. While they were waiting outside the courthouse for the trial, Scout observes, “In the far corner of the square, the Negroes sat quietly in the sun, dining on sardines, crackers, and the more vivid flavors of Nehi Cola” (Lee 214). The black people were forced to sit in a far corner outside, while the white people were free to relax and talk where they wanted to. The African Americans also did not have access to name brands such as Coca-Cola, they only had a much smaller brand called Nehi-Cola. The photo captures the time period where the black people did not receive the same treatments as white people, purely based on their skin color and were “othered” because they were not accepted by society. To Kill a Mockingbird also addresses this topic through the invisible segregation occurring in Maycomb county. Although there were no signs outside the courthouse in Maycomb stating where the black and white people should be, there is a common understanding amongst the citizens that the black people will not sit near or with the white people and will not have as nice places to sit and socialize. On the other hand, in the image there are direct signs voicing that black and white people will not drink from the same fountain.