The Civil Rights Movement On The Class Of White Southerners

960 Words Jul 30th, 2015 4 Pages
===============Jesse is a town sherrif. But we learn far more about him—and his psyche—than what his job title conveys. We also learn that he harbors a very racist perspective; one which he has been socialized to accept as normal. It is a perspective of paranoia about African Americans in the post-civil war era. It is a perspective born from a very racist history. And this history is something Balwin shows us through Jesse’s story in the narrative. For this fear is historically situated, and through (Jesse’s dream/flashback to the past we come to see why). And we can come to see the effect of the civil rights movement on the class of white southerners Jesse represents was one of great fear. To be clear, it was fear of uprising, fear of loss of culture and racially privileging values. They felt as if their cultural practices, however dehumanizing and otherwise illedgal, were being challenged. A more racially-tolerant status quo was appearing within the newer generations and this meant no legacy remained for the more racist generations before. ===============
So a loss of slavery as well as making it harder for whites to racially segregate under the law inpsired a great deal of insecurty and fears of racial rebellion (205). As the narrator notes “Everyone felt this black suspicion in many ways...Men much older than he, who had been responsible for law and order much longer than he, were now much quieter (206).” The narrator gives us the impression that Jesse is trying…
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