In they state, “One of the things we

In the article “Racial Formations” by Omi and Winant, they state their opinions about race and how it is classified. Both Omi and Winant look at race as being socially constructed. They elaborate on race and how it is placed into different categories. They explain that everyone views race differently so there is no definite definition for the term Race. In the novel Caucasia, the author, Danzy Senna relates to Omi and Winant’s theory of race and how race is socially constructed. Senna’s novel is about two sisters by the name of Cole and Birdie who are seen differently through the eyes of society. Both Birdie and Cole were born from the same mother and father, but they have different skin complexions, therefore are not treated the same throughout the novel. Birdie is the youngest and she takes after her white mother, while Cole takes after her black father. Omi and Winant state, “That race, and the interpretations of racial differences, was a central factor in the worldview” (Omi and Winant 10), meaning that race is a stereotype and changes in the eyes if society according to where a person may be. With these ideas, “Black Power,” which was introduced in the 1950’s by Robert Williams and was a way of how people were treated and judged (Black Power Movement Handouts). Thus in Caucasia, the characters of Birdie, Cole, Deck, and Sandy demonstrate that race is a social construction but also exemplifies the Black Power Movement. Overall, the characters in the novel illustrate that race is not fixed or concrete, but always changing.According to Omi and Winant, some people believe that race is based in appearance. In the article they state, “One of the things we notice about people when we meet (along with sex) is there race. We utilize race to provide clues about who a person is” (Omi and Winant 12). We look at people and automatically assume what race they are without knowing for sure. We look at physical traits that give us clues; trying to decide what race a person is. Race us perceived as stereotype because we jump to conclusion about who a person really is. We classify others without knowing their origins and where they came from. According to Omi and Winant someone who does not have a racial identity is one who is “in danger of having no identity (Omi and Winant 12). An example of this is when Birdie and her father were at the park. A mysterious couple looked at her and thoughtsomething suspicious was going on. The couple approached the policemen to warn them about the incident. When Birdie told the policemen Deck was her father the policemen did not believe her, and thought Deck kidnapped her and something sinister was going on. The policemen pulled Birdie away and whispered to her, “You can tell us, kiddie. He can’t hurt you here. You’re safe now. Did the man touch you funny?” (Senna 58-61) The policemen believed Deck was doing something inappropriate with Birdie. Deck felt ashamed because if he were with Cole he knew that something like this would not have happened to him, since Cole and he resemble each other. Birdie looks white, thus they were stopped by the policemen. This relates to Omi and Winant’s theory by showing that one’s racial identity is “preconceived” in turn, a judgment is made even before knowing that person’s background.Another scene in Caucasia, which Birdie and Cole are seen as different races is when the girls both attend a public school in Roxbury named Nkrumah School. Birdie is the outsider. She does not seem to fit in anywhere and has a hard time making friends, while Cole on the other hand is quick to adapt to the new environment. Birdie gets bullied, made fun of and teased. One day while she was in the bathroom some of the other girls from the school threatened to cut her hair because she was different. The girls from the bathroom thought she was stuck up and did not belong in that school because of the way she looked. Birdie just smiled and tried to pretend like it was all a joke (Senna 46-47). Since Birdie does not look like the rest of the kids in the school she is treated differently, even though she is half black. This relates to Omi and Winant’s theory on “racial etiquette”. The idea behind this is that one’s skin color should represent one’s behavior. Although this is blatant stereotyping, it is a common act that takes place when interacting with different races. Birdie is not able to express her individual racial identity due to those stereotypes. In the novel Caucasia, Birdie and Cole try to change their identity. Cole believed that they were not “black enough”. Cole even said, “We talk like white girls, Birdie” and they tried to speak broken English, so that they would fit in better in their school. Cole already had an advantage because she looked like the rest of the kids, but Birdie had to do a complete transformation. Birdie changed her hair and wardrobe. Cole changed some things about herselfas well such as her hair using Jergen’s Lotion and wearing lipstick. The girls got all these ideas from a magazine Cole stole from Nkrumah. Once they made these transformations Cole was one of the most popular girls in the school and Birdie was beginning to make friends (Senna 53- 65). Birdie finally began to understand the meaning of acceptance. Omi and Winant state, Film and television, for example, have been notorious in disseminating images of racial minorities which establish for audiences what people from these groups look like, how they behave, and “who they are.” The power of the media lies not only in their ability to reflect the dominant racial ideology in the first place (Omi and Winant 13). This quote relates to the novel Caucasia, because Birdie and Cole try to change their appearance from taking ideas out of a magazine. This shows us that media plays a huge role in society and many people look for it when they have a problem. This goes to show that media and television tend to be a stereotype. In the novel Caucasia, when Birdie spoke to Carmen over the phone, Carmen seemed eager to meet her in person. Carmen had already met Cole and spent time with her, and expected Birdie to be the same way. However Carmen was shocked when they finally met. When Carmen faced Birdie she treated her like an outsider. She would not acknowledge her when they had dinner, or when Cole, Deck and Carmen were all in the car. Carmen focuses most of her attention to Cole and immediately favors her. On Cole’s birthday Carmen took her to get her hair done at the hair salon. She introduced Birdie as Cole’s sister and told the hair dresser, “Yeah that’s Cole’s little sister, even if she doesn’t look like a sister” (Senna 89-93). She wanted to get the point across that it was hard to believe they were sisters because they did not look alike. Just like the people in the article by Omi and Winant Carmen stereotyped the way Birdie was going to look. According to Omi and Winant, “Racial beliefs operate as an “amateur biology,” a way of explaining the variations of in “human nature.” Differences in skin color…provide clues to differences lurking underneath” (Omi and Winant 12). This idea relates to Caucasia because Cole is Carmen’s “clue provider”. This furthers the stereotype of race being strictly biological. In the novel Caucasia, Deck is planning to travel south for a while. Deck, Cole and Carmen are all going to travel to Brazil because things have become way out of control. Deck states, “Boston, America, is afucking mess and it’s only going to get uglier. Real ugly. Black people need to start thinking internationally” (Senna 121). This quote is saying that Deck and Cole need to get out of Boston because it is just going to get worse. Problems are going to begin and Deck does not want to be a part of it. According to Omi and Winant, “Brazil for example, has historically had less rigid conceptions of race, and thus a variety of “intermediate” racial categories exist” (Omi and Winant 12). This quote is saying that in Brazil, people can be part of a certain family and not have to look alike because in Brazil they look past the color of someone’s skin which is essentially what Omi and Winant argue. Deck believes that by going to Brazil he will not have to worry about stereotypes and racial inequality, because in Brazil race is not as socially constructed as in Boston. Another scene in Caucasia in which Omi and Winant’s concept of racial ideology is used is Deck’s favoritism towards Cole. Birdie has to do silly things in order for Deck to notice her which half the time does not even work because he still treats Birdie like an outsider. Birdie states, “He usually treated me with a cheerful disinterest-never hostility or ill will, but with a kind of impatient amusement, as if he were perpetually, tapping his foot, waiting for me to finish my sentence so he could get back to more important subject” (Senna 56). This quotes proves that Birdie feels isolated by her father because he prefers being with Cole. Cole is Deck’s prodigy (Senna 55). This quote is saying that Deck chooses Cole over Birdie because Cole is his pride and joy. In the article, “Basis of Black Power” the role of Blacks and Whites during the Black Power Movement is examined. Through different concepts such as “White Power” and “Black Identity” the struggle of blacks during this period is portrayed. In the film Negroes with Guns there was a case in which a black woman was nearly raped and beaten by a white man. When they took this to court, the jury decided the white man was innocent. Because of this, Robert Williams took matters into his own hands and said enough is enough, so he took a stand to fight for justice. In the novel Caucasia, the Black Power Movement is essentially, what breaks up Sandy’s family. The Black Power Movement caused Birdie’s family to split up and go their separate ways. Deck took Cole to Brazil and along with Carmen because he felt that Boston was getting ugly, so he had to leave (Senna116-121). Sandy took Birdie on the run and changed their whole identities. Sandy wasnow a fugitive due to the illegal things she took part in. Sandy has to keep a low profile because she is in trouble with the law. Deck took Cole with him because she has a darker skin complexion, thus looks black. Sandy took Birdie because she passes as a white person. Sandy and Deck had different opinions about the Black Power Movement. The film Negroes with Guns relates to Sandy because she takes matters into her own hands, even if it means doing something illegal. She goes on to fight for what she believes and does not allow anyone to get in her way. Sandy is very aggressive about black power because she tries to fight for equal rights; Deck on the other hand is more passive and does not take matters into his own hands. Deck foils martin Luther King Jr. in the sense that both want equal rights for blacks, but fight to get it in the right way. Deck does not engage in illegal activities and does not take matters into his own hands by breaking the law. Both Deck and Martin Luther King Jr. talk and preach about The Black Power Movement in a tactful force. Omi and Winant, Caucasia and The Black Power Movement argue that race should be based on more than social status, skin complexion and racism. In society, people are judged because of the color of their skin. Omi and Winant try to prove that race is a stereotype and that it is constantly changing around the world. They essentially try to prove that race should not be assigned according to social status. The Black Powerment had many issues in society as in Birdie’s family. Altogether The Black Power Movement and Danzy Senna relate to Omi and Winant’s theory about race being socially constructed and how it should be based on more than the color of someone’s skin. Therefore it is safe to say that race is truly a social construction.