Praying For Sheetrock Analysis

1122 Words 4 Pages
The book Praying for Sheetrock’s main focus was on how the Civil Rights movement united the people of the United States, both black and white, in the small Southern county of McIntosh. The novel begins with the efforts of a single man by the name of Thurnell Alston, taking on the goon of a sheriff that was oppressing black people in a “backwater” place in the south that the Civil rights movement had yet to prevail. The citizens of the region could perhaps care less about equal rights or treatment. However, as the book progresses, the implementation of other people in the town shows the backstory of how and maybe why things were the way they were. The characterization of many of the town folks seem as if nothing was wrong with way things were, …show more content…
Although Africans were first used as slaves because of a biological advantage that they had to other races to be immune to certain tropical diseases, they were viewed as being less than white people because they were treated as property rather than humans. This belief made white people superior in society because they held an economic advantage due to their ownership of slaves. Throughout the years, this way of thought was passed down, with children of slaves being born into bondage and even with the inheritance of slaves for white children. Even after slavery was abolished, the mentality that blacks were inferior to whites remained because that was what had been taught to the later generations and the society of the South was formed around that mentality. Economics played a major role in the treatment of blacks in the South because with the limited social opportunities for black people, they held very little political influence. Similar to in the Gilded Age where big companies, such as the Steel Trust companies, held much of the power in the land because they held the majority of the money, whites held much of the power in the United States South because they held a disproportionately large amount of the region’s properties. For example, the McIntosh County population consisted largely of blacks but the white minority was at the top of the social pyramid. Therefore we can see that economic power equals political and social power.
In conclusion, Praying for Sheetrock by Melissa Faye Greene conveys the injustice of the social order in the U.S. before a change was made by the Civil Rights Movement. Greene uses this book to portray the impact and importance that race has had on United States history and the impacts of such events as the ones in the book can still be seen to

Related Documents