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“The Black Table is Still There” by Lawrence Otis Graham Essay

In Graham’s junior high school, what factors determined where students sat?
The integration between students of the same ethnic background. For example page 350 paragraph 14 states athletes sat with athletes, there was an Italian table, a Jewish girls’ table, a Jewish boys’ table, a table of kids who were into heavy metal music and smoking pop, and a table of middle-class Irish kids. These determined where they sat in the cafeteria because the students segregated themselves to sit with people they can merely relate too.

Why didn’t Graham sit at the “black table” when he was in junior high?
Graham thought by sitting at the all black table he would be making an anti-white statement, and he would lose all of his white friends. He didn’t want to separate into a group; he believed people who separated themselves from others are the cause of people not communicating well with different religion or racial groups. Graham indicated in his excerpt that segregated tables is a comment on the superficial inroads that integration has made in society.

When he was a junior high school student, whom did graham blame for the existence of the exclusively black lunch table? Whom or what does he now see as the cause of the table’s existence?

In junior high school Graham blames the “blacks” for the existence of the “black table” he believed they isolated and segregated themselves. In actuality the existence of the table was everyone else who segregated themselves, it was because they were only focused on the “black table” and couldn’t seem to see that the other tables around them were just as the “black table” just with their type of people. Graham explains maybe it’s the color difference that makes all-black tables or all-black groups attract scrutiny and wrath of so many people.

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