separate pasts

1678 Words7 Pages
Separate Pasts takes place during the 1950’s in Melton A. McLaurin’s small hometown, Wade, North Carolina. It is a detailed story of his boyhood in the rural South, which was a time when racism was a daily norm. McLaurin argues that racism existed unchallenged in the rural South. I found that this argument is valid due to the personal experiences that he had to face while growing up in the rural South, which he describes in great detail. McLaurin grew up with the knowledge that whites were treated very differently than blacks and not thinking anything of it. Although blacks and whites were demanded to work together in the village, he noticed that everyone played a different role based off their race. Some of the roles being, blacks…show more content…
White women were also warned to “watch out for so and so”, or warned to not go places without being accompanied by elders. If a black male was to be attracted to a white woman, whites in spite of conveying the appropriate message automatically said derogatory and racist remarks. McLaurin caught interest in a girl named Charlotte Humphries who had been a schoolmate of his since the first grade. Blue eyes, blonde hair, having the complexion of a white girl, he was impressed and did not think pursuing wanting to date her would be a problem. However, regardless of his feelings, his mother disagreed and insisted that Charlotte would not be a good idea for him. McLaurin’s grandmother began to explain to him that he “just shouldn’t” pursue her, mentioning that the story behind it all goes back a long time ago. She explained that Charlotte’s great-grandmother was someone who was a “mulatto nigra”. Some mulattos pass as white, even though they are not, if they are light enough and that is what happened with Charlotte’s great-grandmother. Even though Charlotte was blue eyed blond hair, McLaurin could not pursue her simply because black ancestry was in her blood.
Get Access