Toure's article, “Preconceptions,” published in The New York Times in 2011, opens with a discussion of whether spanking is an essential aspect of the black parent-child experience. Toure's preconception that it is, in fact, essential is overturned at a party when he faces differing opinions. One black man argues that home should not be a place of violence. Another woman, who he presumes to be white, is enthusiastically pro-spanking. Later in the night, another of Toure's preconceptions is turned on its head when he discovers that the woman he assumed to be white self-identifies as black. Toure's article raises questions about race, parenthood, adherence to tradition, and the preconceptions that shape and inform our lives.
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What assumptions do we make about others?How do we balance the value of tradition with the need for change?How has my family or background shaped who I am?What assumptions do we make about people from different races, ethnicities and cultures?