This paper is about racism and how it is portrayed in the following poems: "Jasper Texas 1998," "A Party Down at the Square," and "Night, Death, Mississippi."

Essay by VeronicaOUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.3 1 reviews

Downloaded 64 times

Our Nation's Disease

This disease has swept the entire population. It infests our schools, churches, hospitals, playgrounds, and especially the workplace. Every person ranging from little toddlers to senior citizens have, in some fashion or another encountered this deadly disease. Starting as early as the birth of America, this disease lasted the varying tests of time. It is unavoidable as its symptoms attack our physical and mental health. Although it has stricken hundreds of millions of people every hour, this affliction stands strong. Though this disease can be treated, there is no absolute cure. What could be this ghastly, castrating ailment that permeates into all that we see and do? This despicable ailment catches to the tune of racism. According to Encarta Online Encyclopedia, racism is "making the race of other people a factor in attitudes or actions concerning them. Racism implies a belief in the superiority of one's own race" (Internet).

While reading Ellison's "A Party Down at the Square", Hayden's "Night, Death, Mississippi" and Clifton's "Jasper Texas 1998", I noticed that this disease is the theme of all three. A white boy who witnesses his uncle's friends set fire to a black man narrates Ralph Ellison's "A Party Down at the Square". This is a horrible short story of how a community gets together to have a "party". At one point the black man asks, "Will somebody please cut my throat like a Christian" and in response he was told, "Sorry, but ain't no Christians around tonight. Ain't no Jew-boys neither. We're just one hundred percent American" (232). Little did that community know God was in their presence. The storm symbolizes God's anger. "The wind was blowing harder, and leaves started flying about, making funny shadows on the ground, and tree limbs were cracking and falling"...