Black Oppression In The South

1243 Words 5 Pages
Black Oppression in the South
There was once a time in American history when whites did not get along with blacks. Discrimination filled the nation, creating two different races. One race was more superior than the other. The whites treated the blacks like workers, servants, and scum! All the African Americans were treated unfairly as though they were only pawns in the game. The only reason people needed them was for work and labor. But you know not every single white person in the 1920’s and 30’s were the same. The United States was divided into the North and South side. The North side did not support the act of slavery, but the South did. The story of an African American during this time is greatly depicted in the autobiography Black Boy,
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For most whites, it was a habit to harass Negros. And for other whites, it was their duty to make black lives bloody, but this was not the case for whites living in the South. The Southern whites oppressed Richard without using violence. There are so many things a person can do to make others feel uncomfortable. They can verbally, physically, or mentally abuse them if they wanted to. However, the whites in the South were not like that. They had no desire to use violence in order to gain control of blacks. During Richard’s time in West Helena, he spots a chained group of black men wearing striped clothes digging in the ground (Wright). Richard’s mother says, “‘Because they’ve done something wrong and they’re being punished’,” (Wright 68). Obviously these men are in prison and are forced to do work until their jail-time is over. This type of punishment is not harsh at all. Basically, the blacks would be the prisoners, and the whites would be the cops. The white cops are technically above the blacks, meaning they could do whatever they wanted to them. Having the prisoners dig is not an unpleasant punishment. The black prisoners could be whipped, tortured, and physically abused for their wrong-doing, but all they have to do is dig. The Southern whites did not punish the blacks extremely violently. The whites wanted to control the black population because they were the higher class. Therefore, during the early 1900’s, …show more content…
Another characteristic they shared was that they believed that blacks were intellectually and morally inferior. In less complex words, the whites thought that they were smarter than the blacks. They believed that blacks had lower standards for themselves, and did not have basic human character. Most of them could not read and write, but there were a few who could. More than ninety-percent of the white population probably thought that the black race was uneducated. Most of them would clean, cook, and serve in the homes of whites, but the whites did not care about them; they were just here to do a job. No one encouraged the black race to make something of them, to start a better life, to get an education, and escape the slavery. Blacks were just looked upon as lesser individuals in society that have different lifestyles, thoughts, and rights. During one part of his life, Richard is selected as valedictorian, but is given a speech by the principal to say at graduation. He is not allowed to write his own speech because he will be speaking to both whites and blacks (Wright). The principal clearly does not want someone who is black to give a speech to whites. He is embarrassed and worried that Richard might ruin his, and the schools name. The principal believed that Richard cannot write a speech on his own, and that he has no experience (Wright). Being valedictorian means that you are smart, but the principal probably

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