BORICUA COLLEGE
ENGLISH COMPOSITION I

PROFESSOR: MS. SHUMANN
STUDENT: ANTONIO RUIZ

PIRI THOMAS
THE KONK

The Konk was a story that told about a Hispanic teenage boy (of Black Heritage) struggle for acceptance and identity. The story was sad but very realistic. Latinos desire so much to be accepted by the "Anglo American" society that they will go to just about any extremes to achieve that acceptance. Such extremes are; skin bleach or lightning, dyeing thier hair blonde, changing thier names, or as was the focus of this story straightning thier hair. I have even seen this happen in my own family. African hair is looked upon as "pelo malo" or bad hair and marrying someone who has darker skin than you is frowned upon. The saddest part of the Piri Thomas story is that it continues even to this day. (Piri Thomas' story dates back to the 50's or 60's). It seems that many Black women be they Latino or non Latino; cant wait to perm thier daughters hair. Not even the sons are saved from this act of shame as thier hair is shaved so close, at times bald. What I find most discouraging is when our people celebrate gringo "Holidays" and customs as if they were thier own, just to fit in or as the saying goes "Do as the Romans do". We have completely negated the customs, traditions, language and religion of our ancestors and stoop to a shameless low in trying to achieve the white man's acceptance.

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