Slavery In John Hansberry's Life

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During the time of World War II, there was a huge decrease in income. Most African Americans were working for the white man. Most worked as maids or chauffeurs due to lack of education. In Hansberry’s play, Ruth ironed clothes for a living, Mama cleaned houses, and Walter drove white men around. All three have one thing in common, the work for white people. Even though there wasn’t slavery at the time, many still worked under the whites. As we read the play, we start to see that there is a big economic issue that Younger family is dealing with. After the death of Mr. Younger, Mrs. Younger became the head of the house. About fifty five percent of all African Americans in 1959 were affected by poverty (Dawson 28).Walter, Ruth, and Mama put …show more content…
Slavery played a big rule on the way African Americans were treated. In 1619 a Dutch ship sailed to the coast of Jamestown, Virginia filled with enslaved African Americans. As time passed, slavery spread thought out the American colonies. African Americans were considered to be a white mans’ worker since 1619. This “idea” of African Americans being under everyone was fixed into the white mans’ head. In the play, Hansberry writes about how Walter Younger drives white men around like a monkey. He feels like his job is nothing, he just repeats one thing over and over, “‘Yes, sir; no, sir; very good, sir; shall I take the drive, sir?” He tells his mother that is not a job. He gets treated horribly, and he has to respect someone who does not respect him back. Even after the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, racial discrimination continued to be part of African Americans lives. The Amendments abolished slavery, granted citizenship, and prohibited states from alienating voters in terms of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. These Amendments helped the African American man, but didn’t stop the way he was seen in society previously. Back in the day it was “correct” to enslave African Americans. Society seems to have held onto these “correct” ways, and kept things

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