Summary Of The Short Story Going On Meet The Man By James Baldwin

1185 Words Jun 8th, 2016 5 Pages
In the short story Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin, we see how a young, open-minded boy can grow into a full-fledged racist based on extensive conditioning. With aspects cultivating from his environment, jealousy and the resulting hatred, as well as the seeming normality behind accepting these beliefs, these are the major reasons that guide Jesse’s development. Through the process of racial conditioning, Jesse goes from a young man with an African American friend, to someone who is not afraid to target anyone based solely on their skin color.
The largest attribution to Jesse’s hatred towards blacks can be found in his environment. In the post-Civil-War south, there is a great deal of anger and bitterness towards colored folk. When Jessy interrogates one of the ringleaders of the singing debacle at the local prison, he tells the ringleader, “You are going to stop your singing, I said to him, and you are going to stop coming down to the court house and disrupting traffic and molesting the people and keeping us from our duties and keeping doctors from getting sick white women and getting all them Northerners in this town to give own town a bad name!” (Baldwin 233). Clearly, Jessy is not referring to the ringleader, or his associates, specifically. Jesse has been conditioned at a young age that Africans are nothing but trouble and must be dealt with accordingly. When young Jesse has a moment of angst for the well-being of his friend Otis, his father replies “Otis can’t…

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