Analysis Of Jesmyn Ward's Where The Line Bleeds

Improved Essays
In Jesmyn Ward's "Where the Line Bleeds," Joshua and Christophe's opportunities were limited. They lived in a society where it was normal for children to not have parents in their lives. Their mother abandoned them, leaving them to be raised by their grandmother. Their father was a drug addict with nothing to his name. His mere presence was a threat to their well-being. Their furthest education level was high school which automatically eliminated quality career opportunities, leaving them with being a drug dealer or having a job that paid poorly. As poor black people living in the rural south, they were systematically oppressed. Joshua and Christophe were set up to fail by living in the rural south because of its social and economic construct. …show more content…
Through being loving and active in my childhood development, they prepared me for the real world to be successful in any of my endeavors. I understood the fear that Joshua and Christophe had to fail like their father or not amount to the things that they would want to do in their lives. The difference was that I had a support system that would always be with me. Ma-mee was not going to be around forever and they were more taking care of her than the other way around. They had many more obstacles than me because of their poverty and they did not have their parents for support. Additionally, they were black in America and I definitely understood those issues. Jesmyn Ward said in Melissa Block's article Writing Mississippi that she disliked that fact that she had to "bear up under the weight of the history of this place, of the history of slavery and Jim Crow and sharecropping, the history of [Mississippi]." The world was a brutal place for a black man and having people who had wisdom and experience to pass down were essential. Joshua and Christophe were stripped of that. This reminded me of Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holliday. This song which was originally a poem was written as a protest against the lynches in the south with very detailed imagery. "Southern trees bear strange fruit" of tortured bodies hanging in the "pastoral scene of the gallant south." This was a part of the history that is deeply sown into the south which was still effecting its inhabitants and the rest of the

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Blacks always had the worst jobs or living areas, they were treated like dirt because they were different. Society assumed that if you were different then the average white male, you were wrong and worthless. During the 1930 's, blacks were beat, killed, abused, murdered, and much more, but no one cared because they were useless. The Scottsboro case, really emphasized racism in the South and helped the world realize what an issue it was. While this case was happening, the world really found out how poorly the South treated African Americans.…

    • 1117 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is an excerpt of Martin Luther King’s speech “I have a dream”, he expresses his unconformity by telling us that despite every effort that had been done Black Americans still suffered from racism. They were not seen as equal, and they had to live with the burden of being poor while others around them got the opportunity to be wealthy and…

    • 1192 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to (Keene, Cornell & O’Donnell, 2013, p. 78) they stated that “typically their captors forced the slaves to remain in shackles during the voyage…meager rations and unsanitary conditions, a situation that led those who preferred “death to such a life of misery” to drown themselves. Mortality rates during the middle passage exceeded 10 percent.” One thing that is clear, most race is still angry but they kept it on the inside. However, the black race still carries that bitterness in their hearts. How so? I interviewed many of them.…

    • 738 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The term was used many times in, “ To Kill A Mockingbird”, The term was used mainly to degrade black people. The word had become so widely used that many African Americans had become desensitized to it. To the whites, the word had become just another word for them. The jury ignored the evidence because they wanted to prove that the white population still had control over the blacks. Jim crow laws were starting to get looked down upon and the jury knew that eventually they would get abolished like slavery.…

    • 1301 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The African culture was decimated because of their savage ways of life. All countries and bodies of power that claimed their piece of Africa justified their hostility by educating a ferocious nation. They needed to provide for their mother countries or strong powers and because the African were a weaker people, it was their destiny to fall and not evolve due to their unfit nature. Other regions that were impacted by the African slave trade include… They were impacted by … The devastating impacts of the African slave trade still outlast the country and have…

    • 1255 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is demonstrated when Aunt Alexandra, who has the typical views of a middle class person, refuses Scout to go to Calpurnia’s house only because she is black. Later, Alexandra refuses Scout to invite Walter to their house just because of the Cunninghams socio-economic status. Seen as the lowest class of whites are the Ewells, as they are very poor and uneducated. On some levels, they are the most overtly racist. Constantly throughout the book, Bob Ewell makes comments about blacks such as, “they’re dangerous to live around” and refers to them as “black n-----s” rather than their names.…

    • 1050 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Racism In Eden Rise

    • 762 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The use of “Negro detection” also shows the backwardness because the African Americans, whom the whites consider the less knowledgeable race, actually hold the most information. Bebe proclaimed as “an irony…that the people who have all the power often have only a small portion of the information” (136). To Bebe, power corrupted many of the men throughout the south, and the corruption of power led the men to desire more power. McKee and others who leave the deep south provide the small glimmer of hope in Norrell’s novel for a change in the status quo of the south. Many people dislike change which provides reason for the lack of change in racism over the years since the Civil War in the south.…

    • 762 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This type of cruel threat was commonplace. African Americans often allowed this brutal behavior to affect their self concept, which diminished their self esteem. Blacks were discriminated against so frequently that they began to believe the things that the racists said about them. Crooks and Lennie have a conversation in which Crooks reveals the reason he is not wanted on the farm. Crooks says it is “‘Cause I’m black’” (Steinbeck 68).…

    • 1221 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    These newly freed African Americans families, especially those of single parents, had a hard time adjusting to society and were trapped in what William E Du Bois calls "The Veil" in his book The Souls of Black Folk. He describes the veil as a place where only African Americans existed and viewed the world from. It was within this veil that the black population experienced oppression and were subjected to discrimination. It was a place of injustice where African Americans were stuck in their socioeconomic status and unable to progress. A study done by Steven Ruggles at the University of Minnesota may explain how the “stuck” socioeconomic status of African Americans was a key factor that contributed to their unstable family structure.…

    • 538 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    From Blouvlei to Guguletu Black South Africans, before the early 1990s, were discriminated by and were segregated by the white South African community, due to their wealth and race. They were forced out of homes just to give room for white people, and were forced to comply with whatever a white person said. This had angered many black South Africans, who had to give up what they considered a decent life and instead had to go and live in an even worse condition. In Mother to Mother, SindiWe Magona explains the harsh reality and reasoning for why her neighbor’s son might have been responsible for the death of Amy Biehl- a white girl. Amy Biehl died due to a group of young black mob stabbing her with a knife.…

    • 1523 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays