Angry whites in the South during this period of time would go to any measure to satisfy their hate for an individual of a different race. Rosaleen really changes during this trial; she becomes bitter towards whites, even towards Lily, whom she is close to. Continuing on page 52 Rosaleen learns about the black Madonna. “If Jesus’ mother is black, how come we only know about the white Mary?” The quote is what Rosaleen was thinking when she saw the picture Lily had found in her mother’s items. This is not just a picture of a black version of Mary; it is a picture of the African American’s gaining their rightful freedoms in 1964.
Throughout the entire story, the black Girl Scout troop wants to physically confront the white Girl Scout troop over a racial slur that they weren’t even sure was said. The dramatic irony in this is that the reader is aware that the racial slur was never actually used; yet the characters within the story falsely believe that it has. “Brownies” critiques racial chauvinism through the use of dramatic irony. ZZ Packer uses this technique throughout the story and it is immensely effective. ZZ Packer displays the black Girl Scout troops hidden racial hatred for white people through ironic humor.
The Fight for Change Ever since human beings have walked this Earth, they have formulated various standards and stereotypes towards what they believe are truly sublime in human appearance. As for “the others” who are believed to not reach these standards, they suffer from self-degradation and the cruelty of others. In Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye, she tells the story about a young black girl who believes she is ugly and wishes for blue eyes because the community bases their ideals of beauty on whiteness. Throughout her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou gives an account of her journey of becoming a woman and dominating the misfortunes and racist oppressions of her life. Both authors illustrate the idea that because of oppression the victim develops a self-hatred that enforces a desire to change.
Throughout Maya Angelou’s entire childhood, she hated how she looked, and her entire being. In chapter 4, she tells of her playmates calling her “shit color” and having a “head of black steel wool”, while Bailey was “small, graceful, and [...] lauded for his velvet-black skin,” (17). Angelou continuously compares herself to her older brother, Bailey. But as she grows older, she realizes that “everybody is worth everything” (interview). Angelou forgives herself for not loving herself, and begins to gain self-respect.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a novel about an African American woman named Janie and her struggle to find true love and meaning in her life. While Janie is the main character, her Grandmother Nanny is the person who sets Janie on her life’s journey to find happiness. However, Nanny’s decisions were based on her slave ideals and were not what Janie desired for her own life. As a former slave, Nanny had been raped by her white master and gave birth to her daughter who became Janie’s mom. When the white master is sent off to war, his jealous wife threatens to whip Nanny and to sell off her baby.
Janie, who spent her early childhood with white children, does not even know she is different from the other children until she sees a picture of herself with them. This shows that until then, race was not a factor in Janie’s life. It is not until Janie goes to the all black school that appearance of race becomes important. The children at the black school mock Janie for living with a white family and dressing in white clothes better than their clothes (Hurston 26). The children, jealous of her living conditions and angry at her lifestyle, constantly remind her of her poor, unreliable parents in order to let Janie “not be takin’ on over mah looks” (Hurston 26).
Whites and blacks are not supposed to be friends because of a “line” that exists that separate them. But because of this “line” of separation, all the white ladies have black maids that help with the cleaning and caring of their children. Racial boundaries are manifestations in our own minds, like they are between Hilly and Aibileen. Therefore, relationships are formed by caring and having common interests for one another, like Aibileen and Skeeter do, while Hilly bases friendships on power and dominance. Aibileen works for Elizabeth, so Aibileen has to take care of her daughter, Mae Mobley.
Most only, stared and every now and then a few bold people would ask hesitantly, “Is this your daughter?” I was too young to remember their responses but as I grew older I finally felt their frustration and annoyance with the subject. Through middle school and beyond I struggled knowing who or what I was as far as race. I was often saddened and felt that the African Americans did not fully accept me since my complexion wasn’t as rich as theirs and I felt the White and Hispanic communities neglected me because my hair was kinky and not bone straight. I would often times hear people whispering back and forth “She can’t be Black, she doesn’t look like us.” Or “She’s too dark to be White” and “She kind of looks Hispanic, but she looks more Black and her hair isn’t straight.” “What is she,” the would often inquire. Deep inside I knew
At one point in the story, it seems as though other people besides the Finch family are seeing that judging people based on their looks is wrong. Ms. Gates, Scout's third grade teacher, explains to the class that prejudice is a bad thing. She states “Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced.” (p.245) She emphasizes this to the class, showing that she really understands and despises it when people look down on others based solely upon their looks. Also, a little bit before, Ms. Gates explains to the children what democracy is, and how it works. Scout says that a democracy means that their is “equal rights for everyone.” (p.245) The teacher then goes on to state how the U.S. is a democracy, and how that differs from Germany as a dictatorship.
When she moves to St. Louis and sees her mother for the first time, she is struck by her mother’s beauty. She thinks her mother is too beautiful to have children, and that is the reason why her mother sent her away. Marguerite thinks she is a “Black ugly girl”, at the same time, she is a girl full of imagination. She imagines once she puts her dream Easter dress on she will be a sweet little white girl with long and blond hair. She also imagines the conflict between her grandmother and the white dentist Dr. Lincoln after he said he would rather stick his hand in a dog’s mouth than treat Marguerite’s problem.