Racism Exposed In Coalhouse Walker's Ragtime

745 Words 3 Pages
Coalhouse Walker is a perfect example of colored people during his time, as a people who were started to move up the social class ladder. Coalhouse defies the racial stereotypes of the time period during the novel, as he is well spoken and graceful. Not to mention he has taken great pride in himself, which was seen as taboo, since black Americans were still seen as a lesser people, and should know their place and act like their social status suggests. Coalhouse was faced with violence when his wealth and status in the black community was showed off with his white counterparts, for example his fancy model-T. Coalhouse’s run in with the fire department shows working class whites that weren’t wealthy, and there was a sense that if we can’t drive …show more content…
Coalhouse upsets the harmony of the Victorian ideals father has, as he belongs to a new age of blacks that are willing to challenge the system of racism, as well as challenging the capitalist system later on in the story with the embodied through the JP Morgan …show more content…
Ragtime music appeared during a period of ballads and parlor music, so ragtime was a source of rebellion in the musical world. Ragtime is a term to identify an era of American music original between the years 1896 and 1917; Ragtime set a new agenda in popular music and brought forth a social revolution. Historical ragtime was pioneered by the black population and was resisted by the Victorian style music of the time (Ostendorf, 579), which makes sense to why only the black sheep of the family, mother’s younger brother, was the only one who has heard of the music until Coalhouse Walker brought it to the family. Just like ragtime was historical a head of its time, Coalhouse had more dignity and power than what a black man of his time was believed to have in the early 20th century. Coalhouse upset the balance of father’s Victorian style world, being a “new breed” of blacks who were willing to challenge the society of overt racism (Ostendorf, 590). Which was made evident when father asked Coalhouse to play, coon songs, which were songs used to poke fun at black; this suggestion was quickly dismissed by Coalhouse, “Coon songs are made for minstrel show, white men sing them in blackface” (160), which was then followed by an awkward silence. Just like ragtime was a rebellion of music, Coalhouse the ragtime musician was rebellious

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