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In Every Mirror She's Black


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What did you find different about the way Sweden and American handled issues of racism and sexism? Was there something about the setting that changed your perspective about the social issues tackled in this book?

Created: 09/02/21

Replies: 9

Posted Sep. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

What did you find different about the way Sweden and American handled issues of racism and sexism? Was there something about the setting that changed your perspective about the social issues tackled in this book?

There are many comparisons between Swedish and American societies. What did you find different about how the two countries handled issues of racism and sexism? Was there something about the setting in Stockholm that changed your perspective about the social issues tackled in this book?


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 45

RE: What did you find different about ...

While the ad campaign with the fallout that led to Kemi's hiring would probably never happen in the USA, Sweden appeared a lot more humane towards refugees. So there seemed to be a bit of a contradiction there, but no country is perfect. Kemi's role as the token Black person and sole representative of diversity in the workplace reminded me of the protagonist in The Other Black Girl (set in New York City), so clearly that is a problem that is not specific to any one country.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 89

RE: What did you find different about ...

I honestly expected the women to do better in Sweden than here. I think I'm naïve. But I guess I have heard so much about Sweden being so open. I bought it! The world may not be any better in terms of racism and sexism than here in the US.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Cynthia

Join Date: 06/07/17

Posts: 55

RE: What did you find different about ...

As one who is limited in knowledge about racism and sexism in Sweden I didn't get enough from the book to think we as countries are any different in the ways we deal either/both. I may have missed some nuances that suggest otherwise, but the entire story could have just as believably taken place here in America.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyd

Join Date: 07/31/19

Posts: 56

RE: What did you find different about ...

I too thought that the women would have had an easier time in Sweden. I have always thought of the European countries as more accepting of other cultures. The set up (in the book)in Sweden of the new immigrants seemed pretty generous to me. What I keep forgetting is the resentment that can rise up from the "home folks" who feel they are being pushed to the side to provide for the newcomers.
Now, about the sexism, it's been around forever all over the world. One source I read (exploringyourmind.com) said that education needed to be started at an early age that "respect, tolerance, and equality are basic rights", before sexism would be rooted out. There can be laws in place to enforce equality in different situations but for the people who think like Ragnar (when he's exiting the cab after Kemi has spurned his advances for the lasts time and he predicts what having sex with her would have been like), it will probably take until their genetic matetial has been severely diluted for sexism to be erased.


Posted Sep. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janines

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 46

RE: What did you find different about ...

I was surprised by the racism portrayed in the book. My impression of Sweden has been that in their more open society, or so it seems from afar, there would have been more acceptance of people of color. The racism experienced by Kemi and Brittany seemed no different from what might here. In fact I thought Kemi jumped from one frying pan into another.


Posted Sep. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 220

RE: What did you find different about ...

I really didn’t find a difference between how Sweden and American handled racism. The ideas most common to both countries is the sense that people should know their place and accept it and that it’s not discussed openly in order to maintain the falsehood that people know and understand their place—-and should accept it.


Posted Sep. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 118

RE: What did you find different about ...

As a Black woman, I did not see a difference.


Posted Sep. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 103

RE: What did you find different about ...

I, too, did not see much difference. While the government of Sweden made it look as if it were trying, the comings and goings of the people suggested that there was no difference at all in the tribalized feelings of them versus us - whether it be color or sex or whatever.


Posted Sep. 25, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gaylamath

Join Date: 02/11/20

Posts: 31

RE: What did you find different about ...

While I think that countries other than the US have a better track record with refugees, my perception of Sweden in the past has been that it was a very "white" country which led me to think that it would not be a very good place for refugees either. I'm not black and I've never been overseas, so my perceptions are colored by what I consume. But I believe that there is racism everywhere, against people that are different that the majority of the people in each country.


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