A Comparison of Violence in Living Jim Crow, Incident, and Blood burning moon

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Violence in Living Jim Crow, Incident, and Blood burning moon

Violence seems to be quite a common topic in black American literature of the first decades of the 20th century. One major reason for this is probably that it was important for black authors not to be quiet about the injustices being done to them. The violence described in the texts is not only of the physical kind, but also psychological: the constant harassment and terrorising. The ever-present violence had such an effect on the black that they just could not fight back to stop the injustices.

Richard Wright describes in his autobiography 'The Ethics of Living Jim Crow: An Autobiographical Sketch' the atmosphere at his first job, where his fellow workers
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The "right" for white people to hurt black is also present in 'Blood-Burning Moon.' Here Jean Toomer captures the violence and former slave-owner brutality in a horrifying but realistic way. The setting for the poem is Georgia, a state where slavery used to be quite common and where the white are used to be the masters, which is visible in the thoughts and actions of Bob Stone. Stone cannot really come to terms with his love for his black employee Louisa and cannot cope with rivalry from her other boyfriend Tom. Bob Stone decides to end the rivalry and kills Tom with help from a white mob he rallies. Whether Louisa stopped seeing Bob Stone or not after this we will never know, but she probably had no choice but to continue if she wanted to keep her job. "--- I didn't want to hurt his feelings, and lose the good will of the good white folks --- " (471) says Dudley Randall's 'black boy' in the poem 'The Idiot.' He is beaten up by the police for no apparent reason apart from being black, but still decides not to get even, because that would give him even more trouble. I suppose that feeling of not being able to fight back and get even was a common one, and probably what Louisa must have been feeling as well...

It cannot be easy to be told that you are inferior

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