The Black Community In Roll Of Thunder — страница 2

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by the whites. By the mid 1930?s, the situation was at an all time high. Segregation was a feature of everyday life, segregation meant black people were separated from white people, for example separate public toilets were constructed. Also, America was hit by an economic depression, causing cotton prices to fall. ?Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry?, is set during this time. In this essay, I am aiming to discuss the factors that made the black communities of America so distinctive from the white. I will be closely referring to the book ?Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry? by Mildred D. Taylor. The main features I am going to focus upon in this essay are how black families are very strong and close, how the black community is strong, the racist events in the book and finally how the black

community deals with racism on a whole. ?Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry?, is set in the nineteen-thirties and is about the Logan family, a black family living is Mississippi. The family comprises of Big Ma, David Logan?s mother, David and Mary Logan and four their children, Little Man, Christopher-John, Cassie and Stacey. They live in a house on their own land, which was bought from a white man after slavery was abolished. The book is told from Cassie?s point of view. This is a very important factor of the book, because as the story opens up to her, it opens up to the reader. Cassie is eight years old, she is at the stage in her life where she starts asking questions about things such as racism and slavery, and therefore, as it is explained to her, it is explained to us. An example

of this is in chapter five, when Mary explains to Cassie about why black people are victimised. From the beginning of the book, it is clear that the Logan family is not very wealthy. I get this impression on the very first page, from the fact that the black children are wearing their Sunday clothes to school. This suggests that they have a limited range of clothes. On the first day of term, the children are sent to school looking very smart, but then go to school in torn old clothes the rest of the year. This is an extremely important feature because it shows that they have respect for the education system. Also, they have to walk to school, rather than get a bus because the school cannot afford one. However Jefferson Davis High have a fully working bus that picks all the white

children up before school and takes them home after. Nevertheless, the children walk for two hours, determined not to let the white children?s jeers get to them. The Great Faith Elementary School itself is a weather beaten hut, which is funded by the Great Faith Church, the black community?s church. This shows that the black community tries to give their children the best education they can no matter how much of a struggle. It may also be evidence to suggest that the black community does not like to owe the white people anything, or it may be simply that white people refuse to help them in any way, shape or form. The county adequately funds the school for the white children. The black school has to accept books that have been used by the white school, this is demoralising and

humiliating for the children and especially Mrs Logan, who is a teacher at Great Faith. When Mrs Logan expresses her disgust regarding the second hand books, a white board of directors eventually fires her. All of this is evidence of all the hardship and prejudice that the black community has to deal with. The black community endures this treatment because they will not be belittled by the white people. They try to show their strength to the white people whatever the circumstances. They stand together as one, supporting each other through thick and thin. Evidence of this is when Mr Berry and his nephews are burnt by racists, Big Ma acts as a community doctor, doing whatever she can to help. Perhaps this also shows that black people do not want help from white people due to the

racism that they incur from them. After the Berry?s burning, the black people do not directly retaliate with physical violence because if they did, they would have no backing from the law and would almost certainly be executed. So instead, the Logans try to start a boycott of a store owned by the Wallaces, a white family. Black boycotting of white stores was quite common in the 1930?s because it did not involve direct conflict, risking being lynched. However, in this case, the Wallaces find out who is responsible for the boycott and threaten the Logans. This would have been particularly worrying for them, as any such stirring of trouble would add to the already tense relationship between the races. The Logans are a close family, who is lucky enough to own their own land. Big Ma