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Cultural Dissemblance (of African Americans)

Cultural dissemblance occurs when a person takes on characteristics they believe to be opposite of those expected of their cultural or social group. In essence, cultural dissemblance is a coping strategy used to actively reject negative, offensive, or stereotypical characteristics. The cultural dissemblance of African Americans speaks rather heavily to their experiences in the United States. Historian Darlene Clark Hine theorized that cultural dissemblance served as a survival strategy to help protect African Americans, and in particular, African American women, from the onslaught of Whites and the threat of sexual exploitation. At its root, cultural dissemblance can serve as a response to institutional racism, or a systematic disadvantage based on race-specific discrimination. In the United States, this form of institutional racism was brought about by ...

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