"Critical" essay on racism in The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Includes other various examples in relation.

Essay by LittleCutieHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2005

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On March 25, 1931 in Scottsboro, Alabama, nine African

American boys were arrested and charged for gang-raping two

white girls on a train. Even though they were innocent, and

one of the girls admitted that the conviction was false,

eight of the boys were sentenced to death, and one of them

was given life imprisonment. The racial discrimination that

took place in Alabama with the Scottsboro boys and their

trial was very similar to the discrimination in the setting

of the novel, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, in Georgia.

The Color Purple is set in Georgia during the 1920-

1930's when racial discrimination towards blacks was at one

of its highest points. A tough and outspoken woman named

Sofia was someone who represented strength in the

community. However, when she refuses to work as a maid for

a white woman, one being the mayor's wife, the mayor

himself slaps Sofia.

Being rebellious in nature, Sofia

fights back, but is taken down right away, "They crack her

skull, they crack her ribs. They tear her nose loose on one

side. They blind her in one eye..." (87). The sheriffs beat

Sofia up right away and point guns to her children. She is

then arrested.

Similar to Sofia's case is the Scottsboro trial in

Scottsboro, Alabama. On a Memphis bound train, traveled

nine black youths along with two white women, Ruby Bates

and Victoria Price. Price had told the sheriff that her and

Bates had been raped by the nine young men. Twelve days

later the trial took place however, it was extremely

unfair, "Their defense attorney was an alcoholic, who was

drunk throughout the trial. The prosecutor on the other

hand, told the jury, 'Guilty or not, let's get rid of these

niggers.'"(Bienen, 49). Trials were held only to say...