The experiences of a teacher and his white students on a nationwide trek toward racial understanding
In 1998 James Waller took twenty-one white college students from Washington state on a month-long journey. Prejudice Across America is the record of their interaction with the American Indian, Asian American, African American, Hispanic, and Jewish experiences nationwide. Few books have so directly and humanly captured the moment when whites confront the realities of those living as a minority in America.
Waller reports here on this innovative and award-winning trek. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., his students hear both the official story of prejudice and the street story from people living and dealing with racism on a daily basis. Prejudice Across America is as much the journal of these travelers and what they face as it is a sweeping, up-close survey of the nation's racial landscape.
The students walk the cheerless halls of a South Side housing project in Chicago, experience the agitated aftermath of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, and attend a briefing with President Clinton's Initiative on Race. All along the way, they hold wide-ranging group discussions and experience the unpredictable adventure of traveling by train, plane, and public transit.
Drawing on student journals and on interviews with community leaders and activists throughout the country, Waller paints a compelling and provocative portrait of the nation's prejudice. In addition, Prejudice Across America includes analyses of the obstacles to reconciliation in each of the cities on the tour's itinerary.
As they travel, students confront the thorny issues of race in America, face down stereotypical thoughts, prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviors, and uncover more tough questions than easy answers. As Waller and another group of students prepare for a similar trek in 2001, Prejudice Across America will allow readers to join them in introspection and self-discovery in the urban reality of an America where diversity isn't simply a buzzword, but a way of life.
James Waller is a professor of psychology at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. He has also published Face to Face: The Changing State of Racism Across America (1998).
|Publisher:||University Press of Mississippi|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.36(w) x 8.48(h) x 1.01(d)|
About the Author
James Waller is a professor of psychology at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. He has also published Face to Face: The Changing State of Racism Across America (1998).
Read an Excerpt
The best way to go into an unknown territory is to go in ignorant, ignorant as possible, with your mind wide open, as wide open as possible and not having to meet anyone else's requirement but my own.
Dorothea Lange, American photographer
It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
James Thurber, American author
The essential key to our journeys of self-discovery on the tour would be the ability to frame good questions in good wayswithout thinking we already had all of the answers. It was important for us to be "preparedly ignorant." If we could do that, we would position ourselves to squeeze the most out of our month-long trip across America. The fall preparation course was designed to bring us to that point of "teachableness." In other words, the answers that we could find on the tour, we would be in a position to find.
In January 1996, students worked on exams and a research paper while on the road. They then had several weeks into the following spring semester to finish the work and turn it in. Unfortunately, their focus on the academic requirements of the month diverted their attention away from the experiential side of the tour. Instead of speaking with people, they camped in front of museum exhibitions and meticulously jotted down minutia about people (most long-since dead) for their exams or paper. They did not ask good questions because they were so intent, at my urging, on findingthe "right" information for an exam or paper thesis.
Therefore, for the 1998 tour, I decided to frontload all of the examinations and assignments into the fall preparation course. The students would not only be better prepared for the trip, but also would be able to focus on the human experiences of the journey. They could speak with people in the here-and-now rather than passively recording events, quotes, and perspectives from museum placards. Following the tour, the only remaining requirement would be a typewritten copy of their daily journal.
For the fall preparation course, we met one hour per week and, consistent with college policy, students received one academic credit. For the tour itself, they would receive three academic credits (which is equivalent to a standard, nonlaboratory, semester-length course that meets three hours per week). I warned them ahead of time that the workload would in no way correspond to the academic credits received. What I would require them to do in the fall preparation course easily would rival the work of a three- or four-credit, semester-length course. The January tour would be twenty-four hours a day for twenty-three days and, in that sense, equivalent to dozens of academic credits.
I also let the students know that the situation was no different for me. I teach seven courses per academic year. For this one study tour and preparation course, I put in more work than I do for all of my other six courses combined. (Hopefully, that does not say more about my other six courses than it does about the study tour and preparation course.) Regardless, I reminded the students, we will only be disappointed if we expect the amount of work required for this preparation course and tour to correspond to a "fair" number of academic credits. I assured them, however, that the amount of work and preparation would directly correspond with how much we would learn.
The fall preparation course included five assigned textbook readings. The main text, which served as the common thread around which the course was woven, was Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. Takaki, a professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley, is today's preeminent multiculturalism scholar. Beginning with the colonization of the "New World" and ending with the Los Angeles riots of 1992, this book recounts the history of America in the voices and from the perspective of the minority peoples themselvesAmerican Indians, blacks, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and others. Along with standard historical sources, Takaki uses folk songs, poetry, and memoirs to evoke the words and feelings of ordinary people. Because of its broad scope, A Different Mirror sometimes tends to oversimplify and occasionally relies too much on familiar material. However, it is still an excellent and accessible introduction.
Because much of the tour focuses on the Civil Rights movement, students also read Harvard Sitkoff's The Struggle for Black Equality, 1954-1992. Sitkoff's book is a highly regarded and very readable historical account of the Civil Rights movement. I complement the Sitkoff text with a primary source readingMartin Luther King Jr.'s Why We Can't Wait. King's firsthand exploration of the events and forces behind the Civil Rights movement, centered on Birmingham, will come alive as we stand by the cell where he wrote "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and walk through the doors of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in which four young black girls were killed by a hate-monger's bomb in September 1963.
The tour also focuses on one specific religious prejudiceanti-semitism. We get some background on the Jewish experience in America through Takaki's book. In anticipation of our visits to the Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the students also read a survivor's account of the Holocaust. For this, I selected Elie Wiesel's Night. Although it is a book familiar to most of the students, Wiesel's memoir remains a classic to be read and reread.
Finally, the students read photocopies of the page proofs from my Face to Face: The Changing State of Racism across America. In addition to the background information students would pick up on the psychology of racism, having them read the page.-proofs introduced them to my way of thinking about these issues. Although that could be dangerous (I certainly did not want twenty-one students parroting back my opinions), it also had the benefit of providing a starting point from which, if I managed it well, some fruitful discussion could emerge.
In addition to the five required texts, students kept up with a potpourri of print and electronic articles and several out-of-class film assignments. I also required students to conduct background research on each of the eight cities on the itinerary. This research included finding one novel or film that would be a good introduction to the city, two "must do" things in the city (other than those on our itinerary), one unique place to eat (unique as in "reflective of area cuisine," not as in the Hard Rock Cafe), one relevant website, and a brief synopsis of the typical January weather for the city. Joy would then collate everyone's responses and distribute a summary sheet the following week. Finally, students were required to complete two out-of-class essay examinations drawing from course notes and readings as well as a list of thirteen additional resources (mostly books) placed on reserve in the college library.
I begin the course by outlining a common vocabulary that will form the basis for our future dialogue. The five terms I lay out are: (I) stereotypes, cognitive shortcuts that contain beliefs about the attributes of an individual because of his or her membership in a specific group, (2) prejudice, positive or negative attitude toward an individual because of his or her membership in a specific group; (3) discrimination, positive or negative behaviors toward an individual because of his or her membership in a specific group; (4) racism, an individual's negative prejudicial attitude or discriminatory behavior toward people of a given race, or institutional personnel, policies, practices, and structures (even if not motivated by prejudice) that subordinate people of a given race; and (5) antisemitism, an individual's negative prejudicial attitude or discriminatory behavior toward people of the Jewish faith, or institutional personnel, policies, practices, and structures (even if not motivated by prejudice) that subordinate people of the Jewish faith.
I then briefly review the three myths that structure my bookthe myths that life is good for racial minorities, racism is declining, and America can be a color-blind society. I choose not to delve into the specific evidence I present to counter each of these myths. However, the students have read enough of the book to recognize my general argument that one can only accept these myths by ignoring compelling evidence to the contrary. I remind the students to keep these myths in mind throughout the fall course and January study tour.
The tone in our first meeting is a bit odd. The students have been looking forward to the tour for months now and they seem to think tonight should have more of an "ice-breaking" or "celebratory" mood than it does. Maybe it should. It is, after all, the first time we have been together as an entire group. However, I am so overwhelmed by the logistics necessary to get this tour going that I can be nothing but task focused. In general, that is one of the most difficult things about leading these tours. I want to form and deepen relationships, be a part of every fun thing everyone does, play games, read, and sit in a coffee shop for hours and just hang out. It's not that I don't occasionally do those things. It's that the nuts-and-bolts details of the tour frequently overwhelm mewhat bus to take tomorrow, what time to leave, where to store luggage. I often find myself physically present with the students, but mentally elsewhere. Of course, as the tour leader, it does pay for me to be task focused. However, it is a good reminder that, in addition to the logistical details, I need to be more aware of the relational experience of the course.
From this point on, the fall preparation course will unfold around four objectives: building human relations skills, increasing self-awareness of our own prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviors as well as of our personal histories, building awareness of diversity, and preparing ourselves for personal interaction with diversity.
Building Human Relations Skills
At its heart, interacting with people different from us is interacting with people. The success of that interaction depends on basic human relations skillsmost notably, how well we listen and disagree. These two skills will determine how teachable we are on the tour.
The art of listening is tremendously undervalued in America society. In our everyday conversations, most of us do not listen. We simply wait until the other person stops talking so we can set them straight. We nod our heads to signify our "attention," but most often our brains are whirring away to come up with that remarkable rebuttal that would make the Greek philosophers stand up in their sandals and applaud. Be honest. What do you really enjoy the most about conversation? Seldom is it listening to what other people have to say. Rather, it is our enthusiasm in telling our own story or opinion. All of us, some more than others (particularly college professors), like to hear ourselves talk.
I encourage the students to reclaim the lost skill of listening. Can they prevent themselves from always focusing on their reaction in a conversation? Can they discipline themselves not to think about what they are going to say while someone else is talking? Can they avoid the temptation to continually frame the other's comments in their experiences (for example, "That reminds me of a time when I ...")? Better listening starts with making a sincere effort to pay attention to what is going on in someone else's thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Listening requires a submersion of the self and an immersion in the other. When we commit to this, we open up an avenue of understanding and discovery. The Quakers have a saying to illustrate this commitment: "When we listen devoutly, the heart opens." I remind the students, and myself, that sometimes our open heart will be flooded with the pain, rage, and resentment of the person to whom we are listening. This is especially likely in cross-boundary conversation and is a situation for which we must be prepared. Catherine Meeks, a professor and director of African-American studies at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, even contends that rage and reconciliation are two sides of the same coin: "As long as we talk about reconciliation without acknowledging our very real and legitimate rage, we are trying to have a manipulated reconciliation.... White people as well as black people have a responsibility to be honest about their rage."
I tell the students the story of a middle-aged black professional that spoke openly about his rage on the 1996 tour. In a room adorned with a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. and his quote urging all of us to sit at the table of brotherhood, we asked this man about his views on the prospects for racial reconciliation. In reply, we were hit with more than forty-five minutes of pent-up rage. "Why racial reconciliation? I do not want that. All that will do is pacify white guilt. Every time whites talk about reconciliation, I look for the hook behind the worm. I'm as reconciled to whites as I want to be. Let us [blacks] have our own businesses, clubs, and theaters. I don't want any part of what whites are offering! You want to make me happy? Don't reconcile with me! Just compensate me for all that you have taken! Just give me what you owe me!" He concluded with a somber warning: "I fear for white Americans. You will reap what you have sown."
Even as I described the event to the students, I remembered that the forty-five minutes seemed like an eternity. However, that experience reminds us that a commitment to listen is a commitment to face another person's rage. In other words, our commitment to listen must be unconditionalit cannot be restricted to listening only to that with which we agree or that which we find comforting.
Over the next week, I ask the students to engage in a conversation where they are not intending to respond, but only to understand. How does it change what they hear? When they give themselves permission to not have to respond, do they become better listeners? Even as I speak, I realize the necessity of being a model of listening and I am sobered by my own shortcomings in this area.
In addition to facing the rage in others, I tell the students that our commitment to listen also is a commitment to disagree in ways that continue a conversation. Racism is a sensitive issue and our hesitancies to engage in conversations about it are justifiable. However, disagreements are a significant source of growth. To avoid them is to cut us off from a chance for personal development. We may be swayed by the other's argument, we may sway the other, or we may, at the least, come to more clearly know what we believe by fully understanding an opposing viewpoint. If we remain afraid of the possible tension or conflict, we will never engage in meaningful and constructive conversation about racism.
To disagree in ways that continue a conversation is an art. Parker Palmer, a sociologist and renowned teacher, has said: "Truth is an eternal conversation about things that matter.... And if I want my students to be in the truth, I want them to know how to be in the conversation, not just resting on conclusions. I want them to know how to hang in with a conversation that is increasingly difficult because it's increasingly diverse and it invokes much woundedness and much anger and many struggles. There are ways to stay in the conversation if you understand that that's what truth is."
Again, I realize the necessity of being a model in this area and I am discouraged to recognize my even greater shortcomings in disagreeing. Tact and subtlety are lost on me and, although I like to think it a charming eccentricity, I know that I too often disagree in ways that bring conversation to an immediate halt.
I assure the students that we will have bouts of heated disagreements. Our conversations, between ourselves and with others, will not always be easy. The challenge is to stay in conversations that are difficult and to disagree in ways that keep a conversation going. To do this, we cannot preach or be self-righteous. We must communicate, by our words and actions, that understanding (not personal victory) is the goal.
How do we become aware of our own prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviors? Unless we are brutally honest with ourselves, most of us protect our self-esteem by excluding our personal stereotypes, prejudices, and discriminatory behaviors from conscious self-awareness. It is only when we actually engage in personal contact with members of different groups that we become aware of our deepest biases. As psychologist Thomas Pettigrew describes: "Many [people] have confessed to me ... that even though in their minds they no longer feel prejudice toward blacks, they still feel squeamish when they shake hands with a black." When our contact with diverse groups is limited, we should be wary of the false comfort that comes with our belief that we have no negative stereotypes, prejudices, or discriminatory behaviors. It may be that only in the context of actual physical contact do we become aware of those thoughts and feelings.
My students will have a month of physical contact with diversity. During that time, they will have countless experiences that will allow their deepest biases to emerge. At this point, I want to increase their self-awareness on another front. I want to engage them in an approximating experience of what it is like to be on the receiving end of biased treatment.
There is a plethora of classroom assignments directed at this goal. Some are pitiful approximations that minimize or relativize the issue to a dangerous degree. Others at least stimulate discussion. I distribute an out-of-class assignment that I hope does the latter. I forget where I first ran across the assignment, but it has always intrigued me and I have yet to find the right pedagogical setting in which to use it. This may be it, it may not. Only using it will tell.
I inform the students that for the following week they are to wear a pin or label displaying an upside-down pink triangle. If asked what the pin represents, they are to say: "I am wearing this pin to commemorate the gay men and lesbians killed and persecuted during the Holocaust." No other comments (especially "it's a class assignment") are necessary. I mention that wearing the pin does not mean they are homosexual, nor does it mean they are representatives of the homosexual community or support homosexual activities. People of all sexual orientations, as many students from larger cities know, wear the symbol. It is not a secret symbol used by homosexuals to identify each other. They are simply wearing the pin to commemorate a group of people persecuted in the Holocaust. Although homosexuality is not a specific topic of the course, in the process they also will learn something about the general topic of prejudice. Next week they are to return ready to discuss people's reactions to their wearing the pink triangle as well as their own reactions to wearing it.
I hand out a short piece detailing the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, who were most often referred to in Nazi documents as "filthy queers." As the paper describes, the Nazis adopted an anti-homosexual platform soon after Hitler took office on January 30, 1933. A year later, the Nazis began incarcerating homosexuals in concentration camps, where they were forced to wear a pink triangle patch, the "rosa Winkel," to identify them as homosexuals. Although the Nazis did not order their extermination as they did the Jews', thousands (estimates run between 10,000 and 220,000) of homosexuals perished through maltreatment, slave labor, and execution by firing squads solely because of their sexual orientation.
As the group disbands, the stunned look on some faces piques my curiosity about our next meeting together.
Less than twenty-four hours after distributing the assignment, I received calls from three faculty colleagues regarding the pink triangle exercise. One praised it as innovative and important. However, the other two questioned its efficacy and raised ethical concerns about requiring students to participate in an exercise that so clearly was at odds with their (I was not sure if it was the students' or the faculty members') personal belief systems about homosexuality. Both asked that I consider canceling the exercise immediately. By the end of the week, several other colleagues had called with similar concerns and three of the students had contacted me to let me know that they were refusing to continue with the exercise. Two simply said it made them feel too uncomfortable and the other cited personal religious beliefs that precluded him from any activity that could be construed as supporting homosexuality.
I knew the exercise was a bit of a risk. Christianity has long condemned same-sex intimacy. Psychiatrists and psychologists once labeled homosexuality as a mental disorder. It was only in 1997-1998 that the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association voted to reject therapy aimed solely at turning gays and lesbians into heterosexuals. Homosexuals continue to be routinely subjected to stigma, stereotypes, cheap humor, and falsehoods that frighten or alienate many people. There was no reason to suspect that my students, cloistered as we are in our pine-cone curtain of a campus, would be immune to any of these impressions. In fact, there were a lot of reasons, including our affiliation with the Presbyterian Church and a disproportionately large number of students and faculty who would identify themselves as Christian, to suggest that the exercise might be very risky.
Despite this background, I still was not prepared for the intensity of some of the reactions. However, at least I could be prepared for the debriefing. I did not want to be defensive and lash out with a high-minded justification of why the exercise was pedagogically sound. Rather, I wanted to prepare myself to shape this into a powerful learning experience. Just recently, I exhorted the students to nurture their skills of listening and disagreeing. I now had to be prepared to model both of those skills. This promised to be a pivotal point in our group's development.
As I walk into the room, the tone is taut. We may not know each other well enough to say many of the things we would like to say tonight. Some of what we might want to say may be said in ways that put a barrier between others and ourselves that will linger through, and long past, the tour. I decide to directly acknowledge the controversy raised by the exercise. "I realize that a lot of other people, both faculty and students, have had some strong reactions to this exercise," I begin. "I want to lay aside those outside reactions and focus on your reactions. With the exercise, I simply wanted you to get a brief glimpse of what it's like to be stigmatized. I told you that wearing the pink triangle did not mean that you were homosexual, nor did it mean that you were a representative of the homosexual community or support homosexual activities. As you've found out, though, other people's reaction to your wearing of the pink triangle hinted at many of the very things I told you it did not represent. I'm sure that some of your felt stigmatized, ridiculed, stared at, misunderstood and, perhaps, even harassed."
"As uncomfortable as that was," I continued, "I also hope there were things you learned from the experience. I wish all learning could be comfortable. In truth, though, sometimes learning means provoking discomfort. In this case, I think the end of learning justifies the relatively unpleasant means used in the exercise. I may or may not be right. What do you think? Did you learn enough from the exercise to justify the discomfort it presented? Or was the exercise an inappropriate requirement to impose on you?"
There follows a long period of silence as students weigh the relative benefits of speaking out versus the costs. To my right, I notice that one student is a bit teary. She quietly begins speaking: "When I first put on the pink triangle, I assumed that I would be the 'teacher' for the week. Instead, I learned an irreplaceable lesson. When I came back to school from a weekend celebrating my Mom's birthday at home, a young woman approached me. She walked up to me and asked about my triangle. Immediately, I remembered that I was wearing it and proceeded to explain what the symbol meant. After I had finished talking about the homosexuals in the Holocaust, she asked me if I was a lesbian. I froze at that moment. Half of me was disgusted that she could find me to be a homosexual. The other half of me was ashamed that I felt so violated by a simple question. I responded as calmly as I could that 'No, I am not a lesbian.' Still flustered, I asked this woman if she was a lesbian. 'Yes,' she smiled, and looked at her feet. I tried to soothe her embarrassment and asked if it was hard to live in Spokane, a place that is not generally accepting of homosexuals. She answered, 'Yes. It's really hard to live in Spokane. It's hard to be black and a lesbian in Spokane. You know, I have a daughter.'"
She is now weeping noticeably. The group waits until she begins again: "At that moment I was completely at a loss for anything to say. I did not need to. Her eyes met mine and, as they teared up, she left and walked away. I stood in that same spot for a long time. The few words that she had spoken to me just moments before had pierced my spirit. It was almost as if I understood what this woman felt. For the first time in my life, I could identify with someone that was so different from me. But somehow I knew that we were the same. I even imagined us being friends."
As she stops, several in the room have become teary-eyed. Her willingness to deeply feel and openly share those feelings with others has touched a chord deep in each of us. There was probably much more behind her reactions than simply the exercise. Regardless, to my silent relief, she has set a tone for the hour. Of course, it is difficult to follow someone who has been so transparent about the impact this exercise left on her. It is several moments before someone else speaks up about their reactions. Over the rest of the hour, students, following her tone, speak openly about the discomfort and learning inherent in the exercise.
Many students report that they gravitated to other students in the course wearing the pink triangle or other people who knew them well enough to know that the pink triangle did not communicate anything about their sexuality. They found themselves avoiding contact with unfamiliar people out of fear that they would assume more about their sexuality than was warranted by their wearing the pink triangle. These students began to recognize the constraining influence of labels or a stigma on interpersonal interactions.
Several students reported that often other people would ask questions like "Why don't you commemorate the other groups who also died? Women and children died too, you know! What about the people who weren't homosexuals that died during the Holocaust?" As we debriefed as a group, several students realized that if they had been wearing a symbol commemorating a different group, it was very unlikely they would have been asked "What about all of the homosexuals that died during the Holocaust?" Some of this surely reflects ignorance. The persecution of homosexuals in the Holocaust is not common knowledge. However, part of this reveals underlying antigay prejudices.
I briefly wonder what my own lack of participation in this exercise reveals. Why didn't I join the students in wearing the pink triangle for a week? My justification was that my wearing the pink triangle would lend professorial legitimacy to the exercise and mellow the responses others gave to the students. But, I now wondered, could it be that I have a discomfort with the exercise that betrays some cryptic antigay prejudices of my own?
Toward the end of the hour, several students express a sense of "betrayal" at the other members of the class who did not wear the triangle or wore it in ways (excessively small or hidden under a lapel) that violated the spirit of the exercise. To this point, the students who quit the exercise have yet to speak up. The tone set by the one student's opening remarks clearly has made it a chilly climate for anyone who would speak out against the exercise. It also has become clear that gender has played a role in students' reactions. I suspect that the six males, three of whom were the only ones I know of to outright quit the exercise, recognize this and that the well-documented male fear of being labeled as "homophobic" makes them even more hesitant to speak up. I also know that other students, both male and female, have chaffed at an assignment that required them to put forth a different public persona than their own. One later expressed how difficult it was for her to submit to professorial authority when it required that she stand for something not of her own choosing. How can I bring these voices into a conversation dominated by other viewpoints?
Unfortunately, our time tonight has ended. However, I breathe a silent sigh of relief because I know that I was at a loss as to how to bring those voices out. I leave excited about the learning experiences and growth shared by many. As one student tells me, "Do I think the whole experience was a little taste of hell? Yes. But am I glad that I wore a pink triangle? Yes." In a course where we often concentrate on other people's prejudices, students were forced to focus more on their own knee-jerk reactions and stereotypes. However, I am also disappointed that I was not more adept at structuring a climate where everyone felt free to express their thoughts and reactions. I realize that the success of thins course, and the tour, hinges precisely on my very ability to do that.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: The Making of "Prejudice Across America"|
|2.||Los Angeles: Taiko Drums, Blues, and the Banana Bungalow||41|
|3.||San Francisco: The Goodness of Uncle Guy||75|
|4.||Chicago: Arvis Tells It Like It Is||101|
|5.||Memphis: A Grief Observed||137|
|6.||New Orleans: An Interlude||161|
|7.||Birmingham: "Bombingham" Revisited||175|
|8.||Atlanta: "Don't Tell Me It's on Peachtree, Again..."||201|
|9.||Washington, D.C.: The Beginning of a Country and the End of Our Line||237|
|Appendix A||Itinerary of the 1998 Tour||289|
|Appendix B||Bibliographic Essay||295|