The Ethics Of Living Jim Crow Essay

1389 Words6 Pages
people aspired to own land or dreamed of attending a university? What kind of opposition would whites present when a black man wanted to defend his wife or child against random acts of racial violence? This was the insanity of the Jim Crow South and Wright makes an effort to explain how he coped with blatant racism as he grew into adulthood. Further along in “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow”, the writer had developed a deeper knowledge of the pervasiveness nature of Jim Crow. It wouldn’t only affect him solely during his childhood in Arkansas, but also in his places of employment as well. Wright gives an example of the emasculating effects of Southern racism. Wright describes a moment where one of his fellow bellboys is found frolicking with a white prostitute and was mutilated for the dalliance, with the staff being warned that the victim was a “lucky bastard” since his life was spared (Wright 139). The possibility of his losing one’s manhood had to be a troubling prospect for the other bellboys, who could see this man as a no more than a cautionary tale warning them to not to act on their interracial carnal desires. Richard Wright’s life in the south wasn’t one filled bliss and pleasantness, but one filled with painful experiences. From having scarring physical events occur in his childhood to being threatened with castration, Wright eloquently wrote about the mental turmoil that black people were experiencing in the South. The fear of physical violence or death was
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