"Black Boy"

Essay by ScoobySnaksHigh School, 10th gradeA, December 2005

download word file, 5 pages 4.0

One main point of the United States Constitution was missing from the Jim Crow South: equality. The Constitution clearly states that all men are created equal, but in the Jim Crow era, blacks were continuously persecuted for something that would be acceptable today. During slavery the South was a place of racial prejudice, discrimination, and hate. Blacks could be punished for simply looking at a white person the wrong way. Punishments included arrests, beatings, even lynchings were a common part of the age. Blacks in this time were considered second class citizens and had basically no rights what so ever. Blacks that Richard knew, dealt with racism in different ways. One way that Richard's friend Griggs dealt with racism was to learn to act how whites wanted him to. He wouldn't do anything to make white people mad. Some advice that Griggs gave to Richard was to, "learn how to live in the South" (217).

He told him to get out of white people's way and to not make them mad. Griggs main advice was to act like a black boy is suppose to. Another person who had to deal with racism was the hotel maid at Richard's old job at a hotel. She was walking out of the hotel with Richard and a white security guard grabbed her butt. Even though she knew exactly what happened, she just kept on walking. Richard asked her, "How could you let him do that" (234). She replied, "It don't matter. They do that all the time" (234). The hotel maid had encountered this abuse a lot so she was used to it, knowing if she spoke up she would be punished.

Richard wanted to do something but she just told him, "You woulda been a fool if you had done something"...