Racial Tension Between Blacks And Whites Alike

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The racial tension that existed in the twentieth century had a social impact on blacks and whites alike. The blacks were forced into a life of oppression and bleak poverty that strangled any efforts to rise above their social standing. The whites were forced into a lifestyle of bigotry and prejudice to maintain the status quo and to keep the black populace in their place. It was an extraordinary pressure for both races fraught with the pressure of always having to remember one’s place in society. The authors of the two historiographies demonstrate the conscious effort it took to preserve the segregation of the south. On the one hand, Richard Wright, the black child, soon learned that he had to always act as a subservient and never show that he was a human with hopes and aspirations for a different future, by always suppressing ego and machismo. Whereas on the other, Melton McLaurin showed how he always had to act the gentleman and have the upper hand in front of his black, inferior friends. The trauma experienced by both races, although different in nature, proved to be a burden for both. In the south in both accounts the silence of the adults as it related to race relations is evident. Wright’s mother acted as though his constant questions regarding race and the perception of others to color was a bother and in many instances refused to answer his questions. He states “I had begun to notice that my mother became irritated when I questioned her about whites and blacks, and I
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