Racial Injustice in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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In a desperate attempt to save his client, Tom Robinson, from death, Atticus Finch boldly declares, “To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. This case is as simple as black and white” (Lee 271). The gross amounts of lurid racial inequality in the early 20th century South is unfathomable to the everyday modern person. African-Americans received absolutely no equality anywhere, especially not in American court rooms. After reading accounts of the trials of nine young men accused of raping two white women, novelist Harper Lee took up her pen and wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, a blistering exposition of tragic inequalities suffered by African Americans told from the point of view of a young girl. Though there are a few trivial …show more content…
Preservation of southern womanhood at all costs is also an important factor in the Scottsboro trials. It was illegal for white women to consort with black men in Alabama during the 1930s. In order to avoid the legal and social ramifications for coming onto black men, the two girls lied to authorities without any consideration for the pain and suffering they would cause the young black boys and their families. The Encyclopedia of Alabama describes this story, delineating, “In the hope of avoiding vagrancy and morality charges, the women falsely accused the nine young black men…. of rape” (Encyclopedia of Alabama 1). In order to avoid the shame and legal trouble that would arise from their association with colored men, the two girls threw the innocent black men under the bus. The girls, by virtue of their employment as mill workers and prostitutes, were already at a lower than normal social class for young white women, but consorting with black men would put them to the ultimate low. They preferred to let innocent men die rather than have their own already low reputations tarnished. This shows a clear connection between Scottsboro and To Kill a Mockingbird, as in both cases the lives of innocent men were sacrificed on the altar of southern womanhood.

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