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In the book Black Boy, we see many black people in the south
dealing with many hardships. One
of the most prominent problems for blacks seemed to be the "Jim
Crow" laws. These laws withheld blacks
from society, breaking them apart from whites and making it very
hard for them to live an even close to
normal life. Black people couldn’t express their own ideas at all.
They had to call all white men "sirs" and
all white women "ma’am". They couldn’t act the slightest bit
superior to whites. It was almost impossible
for black people to make a decent living in the south, and they also
had to take the abuse dealt to them by
he whites without even attempting ant resistance. Blacks in the
south also had to deal with the separation
aspects of the "Jim crow" laws. They had to sit in the back of the
buses, they had to use separate water
fountains and bathrooms, they were looked upon almost like they
had some sort of disease. These are just a
few of the "Jim Crow" laws that the black people had to deal with.
Richard was not the only one in this book dealing with racism. All
the people around him were
also coping with it also, friends co-workers and family had to face
the challenges of a racist environment.
Throughout the book we see these other people dealing with the
problems of an extremely racist society.
We also see how each person in Richards life deals with it
differently. There are a few people and insience
that stick out in my mind especially. The first one would have to be
an incident with Shorty. Shorty has
dealt with racism his whole life, and he has learned to deal with it as
he has grown. We see a great example
of how Shorty deals on page 269Shorty is faced with the problem of
no money, such as many other
southern blacks were, and we see that he is willing to do anything
for any amount of money.
" You can kick me in the ass for a quarter" (269,wright) As this
happens Richard witnesses the
whole thing and we can see that he is very disappointed in the way
Shorty dealt with the situation. He can’t
understand how he can put himself in that kind of degrading
position, and Shorty simply answers.
" But a quarter can’t pay for what he did to you!"
But we can see Shorty thinks differently.
Another example of a person that dealt differently with the Racism
around him was Uncle Hoskins. He was
a man just trying to make his own in this world. Minding his own
business, trying to run his own business
so he could support his family. We see that he owes some money to
some white people, it seems to play a
part at the time of his killing, but if you look deeper you see that the
most significant reason for him being
lynched was that he was a somewhat successful black man, and the
white people didn’t like that. Uncle
Hoskins is just a black man who tried hard to mind his own
business, and that was his way of dealing with
the hardships he was faced with, but we know that no matter how he
dealt with it he was never going to be
left alone because he was a somewhat successful black man, and
that just wasn’t acceptable.
One final example is his family. Like his mother, and his
grandmother. We don’t really see many
big incidences of them dealing with racism. We mostly just see how
hard it is for them to get by in life.
They don’t have a lot of money, no medical care and at a few points
we even see them having to neglect
Richard and his brother. It wasn’t totally their decision though
because it was just to hard to raise children
in that situation. They just had to deal with it by taking it one day at
a time, and their really wasn’t much
they could do.
Richard has had to deal with many racist situations. We see that he
doesn’t really deal well with
being treated inferior to whites. One incident that Richard was
treated racistly was when he was shopping
in a convenience store in a white neighborhood, and as soon as he
exited the store he was approached by
the police. He was forced to the ground and
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Discrimination, Racism, Hatred, Citizen: An American Lyric, Laissez-faire racism
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