Introduction The issue of discrimination by class, race and gender in the society is the subject of hot debates our days. Though most people consider themselves as very tolerant persons, the fast show women and dark-colored people are still discriminated in society. Two books are under analysis in this essay: “Dream from my father” by Barack Obama and “We’ll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction” by Susan Eisenberg. Both this books are autobiographical, written on the base of author’s personal experience. The events on both books go back to the time of twenty-thirty years ago.
Both of them allow understanding the real situation with the race, class and gender discrimination in the USA in the end of the twenty century. The common ideas in the books of Obama and Eisenberg The first chapter of Obama’s book describes the very beginning of his career in Chicago. In 1985 Barack Obama arrived to Chicago to work as a community organizer. The history of this city in the second part of the twenty century led to the corruption of the government, the stratification of the society and the high level of unemployment among the lowest-income colored population.
After the “white flight” in 1960th (when the whites left areas where non-Whites are settling, mostly for suburbs) poor districts were left to their own resources. Industry changed and there were not work for low-level workers. City government did not try to change the situation; anyway, poor blacks did not want to get help from Whites. “…the last thing we need is to join up with a bunch of white money and Catholic churches and Jewish organizers to solve our problems “(Obama, 89) In thus way Chicago was polarized and there was not way to solve the problem.
Whites didn’t try to help the poorest part of the population, and Black didn’t want to get help, but their life was awful and having no prospects. However, at the beginning of Obama’s work in Chicago Harold Washington, the first African American, was the mayor of Chicago that time and his administration really tried to reduce the unemployment of the ethnic blacks. Obama started his work like every enthusiastic young manager in the Altgeld, one of the poorest districts of Chicago not far away from city dump, but soon he understood; to help these people he had to learn them.
A lot of money from city budget (Obama tells about $500,000) was granted for the employment program in such districts, but money went away and programs did not work. However soon young Barack succeed in some of his objectives, for example he took part in the opening of new MET (Mayor’s Office of Employment and Training) station. Most analytics think that this period of Obama’s career was unsuccessful. However it is obvious that Obama have got a great experience. During his first period in Chicago Obama understood that he could not press to the politic machine from the outside.
Thus, when he returned, he began his path to the “sanctum sanctorum”. He tried to meet important and influential people and to work with them. The upper stage of his career is the position of the President of the United States, so the experience of that man is very useful to learn for those who want to know more about the real situation of the American society. For those who consider the book of Obama insufficient or isn’t interested in the problems of African Americans the book of Susan Eisenberg can be interesting. The author describes her career as the electrical apprenticeship.
That year President Jimmy Carter started new program of the inclusion of women in apprenticeship programs to increase the percent of working women. Many of young women at the beginning of their careers were excited with this new perspective and started to work. However the reality happened to be severe and merciless. Eisenberg used not her only experience, but the memories of thirty women approximately of the same age, who believed in the historical transformation of the society and pioneered as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, painters.
They hoped under Carter’s program they will obtain challenging job, the support of the trade union, the respect in society and the better attitude. In reality the gender barrier was still tough and no changes were seen. Eisenberg Reminds when she arrived as the electrical apprenticeship to work in some building, the guard didn’t let her in. He decided she was a terrorist. Though is has happened thirty years ago, the chance to meet terrorists seemed more probable to this guard than a chance to meet female electrical apprenticeship.
Conclusion The authors of two books under analysis are different people – by gender, by race, by the development of their carrier. However the one common feature is in this two books: both authors describe how they faced the discrimination and in what way they struggled with it. References Obama, Barack. “Dreams from my father” New York: Random House (January 9, 2007); eBook; ISBN 0-3073-9412-3 Eisenberg, Susan. “We’ll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction” Cornell University Press 1999. ISBN-13: 9780801486050
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