Separate Pasts Analysis Essay

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Melton McLaurin, in his book, “Separate Pasts,” recalls memories of growing up in his hometown of Wade, North Carolina. During this time, McLaurin works in his grandfather’s store in the segregated South. McLaurin writes of his interactions with the black community and observes the segregated lifestyle of black and whites. In his book “Separate Pasts,” McLaurin describes the black citizens of Wade that have influenced and changed his views of segregation and racism. The first person to influence McLaurin’s racial views was a black playmate by the name of Bobo. During this time period it was perfectly acceptable for white children to play with black children. In “Separate Pasts” McLaurin describes an event in which he had licked a needle…show more content…
Vinny Love had come to McLaurin’s grandfather asking for help in order to get on welfare to aid her ailing son. McLaurin’s grandfather calls upon Wilson at the welfare office to go to Vinny Love. Wilson visits Vinny Love but he does not immediately help her. When Vinny Love goes back to the store McLaurin’s grandfather is enraged that Wilson had not followed his orders. McLaurin’s grandfather then sees to it that Vinny Love and her mentally ill child are helped. In this section of “Separate Pasts” McLaurin is greatly excited and inspired by his grandfather’s willingness to help Vinny Love. However, McLaurin soon realizes that his grandfather was so willing to help because his orders were questioned. Thus, McLaurin’s grandfather was merely saving his reputation rather than wholeheartedly helping Vinny Love’s cause. However in the end, no matter what McLaurin’s grandfather’s motives were, Vinny Love receives the help she is needed. The last people McLaurin writes about are Jerry and Miss Carrie. McLaurin describes them as Wade’s most interesting couple. Miss Carrie is a retired schoolteacher and Jerry picks up odd jobs in Wade. McLaurin seems to highly respect the couple and consider them more than just another black family. McLaurin explains that he has never entered the house of a black family until one evening at Jerry and Miss Carrie’s home. Miss Carrie invites McLaurin in for a slice of pie. Upon his entry into the house, he is fled with emotions of
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