Soul on Ice Book Critique

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Soul on Ice Book Critique By examining a first-hand account of individuals that were directly affected by the racial turmoil of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the racial evolution is better understood. Eldridge Cleaver is the symbol of black rebellion in the raging decades of the 60’s and 70’s. The United States of America experienced turbulent societal changes throughout these decades. Since the 19th century, when slavery was prevalent, African Americans were treated as inferior to the white people; blacks didn’t have legal equality. Prior to the 1950’s, African Americans had to endure living in a segregated society. Black people were not permitted to wander around white neighborhoods, attend white institutions, enter stores owned by a white man, and dine at white restaurants. However, in the 1950’s, civil rights activists began to demand integration and equality to all African American citizens. They fought for freedom from oppression by whites. The Civil Rights Movement was a long and difficult process, affecting the lives of many African Americans. Finally, in the 50’s, the Supreme Court officially outlawed all racial discrimination against African Americans. Cleaver’s essays underlie the tensions of 1960’s and 70’s through a collection of interwoven essays that describe his own perspectives about the impact of racial discrimination in his own life. He challenges the white power structure by encouraging a powerful response of African Americans in revolt to the oppressive situation of the 1960’s. During Cleaver’s early life, he committed multiple “insurrectionary act[s]” of rape (Cleaver 33). His acts of rape were not due to his attraction to white women. In fact, Cleaver committed rape because of the status and symbol that the white woman held. While the black woman displays a symbol of slavery, the white woman represents a symbol of freedom. To Cleaver, raping

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