How Is Racism Presented in the Novel of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry?

Decent Essays
How is racism presented in the novel of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry?
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a novel based in the Southern States of America in the 1930’s and deals with the theme of Racism amongst other themes. Racism is being prejudice or discriminating against someone of a different race based on such a belief. Following on from the Civil War, America experienced ‘The Great Depression’ and it affected everyone, especially blacks. Mildred Taylor reveals examples of racism and racist behaviour throughout the novel based on her own experiences. In this essay, I will discuss what blacks were subjected to and how racism is presented in this novel.
Right from the very start, the Logan Children, although they have been protected
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TJ is blamed for the murder of Mr. Barnett, a white man, when the offence was committed by R.W and Melvin Simms (two white boys). However, TJ was only an accomplice in the break in of Mr. Barnett’s store but this does not prevent the ‘Night Men’ attacking TJ and his family. They do this because it gives them reason to physically and violently assault the Avery family just because they’re black:
“…dragged from the house on his knees. His face was bloody and when he tried to speak he cried with pain.”
This shows they are treated like animals and not as equals. TJ is considered disposable by the white men as they do not care what happens to him. Also the fact that there was no legal intervention displays how racist the community really was towards black people. In my opinion, I think Mildred Taylor included this in the novel to show that no one stood up to it even though it was unjust and unfair.
In contrast to this, not every white character in the book is racist. For example, Jeremy Simms and Mr. Jamison. Jeremy Simms, a white boy, wants to befriend the Logan Children despite knowing he will be punished for his actions as it is considered unacceptable for a white boy to socially interact with black children: “Jeremy grew even more pale, ‘C-cause I just likes y’all’ he stammered”
This shows what a brave and courageous character he is to look beyond the colour of a person’s skin for
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