All Bright CourtDuring great migration many blacks moved form south to Northern parts of the united states. Looking for better and fruitful life they brought hopes and dreams in their minds. "All bright court" by Ms. Porter illustrates this trend of blacks moving towards North. In the story in the upstate New York mill town of Lackawanna, the company-built housing project known as All-Bright Court. Originally it was built for the Polish, Italian, German and Russian immigrants who came to start a new life in America. The same housing was handed down to the black workers. The date was around 1955 and It was phase of great migration from south to north. Many men and their families have migrated here from the South. The political and economic reasons created push factors from south to the north. The poor economic situation and structural racism in south and the stories of homes with gas stoves and indoor plumbing along with the promises of jobs and opportunities worked as great push and pull factors.
This project represents everything its residents have dreamed of about jobs, freedom, and a future. The outcome was totally different what those who migrated here dream about. The backs who move to the housing project see new light of hope about the future. Porter in her book tells how people hoped about North to be different than what they have experienced in the south. The characters talk about the freedom and equality they see in North. The incidents like blacks and whites eating together in the dinner fills migrated blacks with hope for equal opportunities in life. But the story of hopes and better future gets a different turn.
The cast in the story is interracial and lives through the Kennedy years to the uncertainty afterward. book mainly is a tale of a black family living in the urban North. Story starts with a character called Samuel who is an orphan who worked in a restaurant and then goes to the north. Samuel is aware of his identity and doest want his son to learn white man's way but stay black and achieve academic goals. Story tells ambitions of a perfect family who is hoping for a better future in new environment of the north. examines the tension between individual achievement and communal survival. Porter talks about strikes, the Kennedy assassination, the riots and changes in the black community of the 1960s, and the death of Martin Luther King. All these events end up in the death of dreams of black people in the housing project. When Samuel feels that to get a good life they had to adopt white people's way of living. As his son act like a white person and starts a white life style it concerns Samuel a great deal. All bright court tells story of nearly two decades and focuses on the ups and down of the lives of several working-class Black families trying to cope with personal and societal changes between the Eisenhower and Nixon eras.
The situation of dream place North was very scary. The iron waste from the steel plants ruins the environment and the men in the plants routinely suffer from burns, infected lungs and broken limbs. Workers were being paid according to how much heat they can stand because closer to the open hearth they work the more they are paid. The story takes another turn when Death of martin Luther king and other riots change the environment. All the housing project black community sees its dreams getting fade.
The story takes great turn during the great immigration and then the changing situation in north during the assassination of Martin Luther king and strikes and the riots. All bright court is a turn of ups and own of a community. Some of the black people in the novel try hard to adapt to " whiteness" in order to survive. Historically in America all the monitories for its well being and to become an American try to be like the dominant group and to be the dominant group is to be white. The novel tells this story of resistance to towards adopting white man's way of life. Example comes when Issac, one of the characters, in one scene cuts lawns for one of the bosses and he advises Samuel the chance to make some extra money. Samuel refuses to work for a white man for domestic tasks. The struggle of blacks to survive in the society ad achieve goals and try to act like a white man is a main concern when Samuel and Kate's son goes to the prep school and Mary tries to make him clean by scrubbing him the Clorox. A simple incident tell how minorities in American society come under the influence of white man's way in order to fit in the dominant culture.
The same area which where European migrants once loved was home of black migrants. Just like European migrants black migrants had also hope for a better life style.
The time of early 60's when black migrants, the prejudice is still alive, the racism is not structural but in the blood of people. The blacks form south have mixture of feelings about the white community. Some of the blacks try to adopt white man's way of liking and some resent it. In the novel we see how everybody minds their own business and attachment with the surrounding people is artificial.
It was obvious where there is no openness about the reality like in structural racism, there is everything in the hearts. The open racism that blacks left back home in the south didn't let them free even in the north. Their dreams stared crumbling in the end of 60's. The new phases of politics, the death of Martin Luther king and emergence of strikes and riots changed the life of All Bright court residents. The layoffs and strikes threaten the financial situation of the families. As all the crimes, riots and strikes increase in this period the hopes of All Bright Court community end.
People of All Bright Court wanted to achieve better live without adopting white man's way of life style and by holding their dignity and identity. This is not what they get instead whole community faces the realities that they did not dream about. This community found the truth that power still resides in the hand of dominant group. To achieve everything that they dreamed of they have to lose their own identity and earn it only by a white man's way. Some minority people do adopt the way of a white man and become better off but the ones who don't face the reality of being minority and being unsuccessful while Title:Bright Court (summary of the book) book title: All-Bright Court by Connie Rose Porter