Beloved Essay

Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Racism Pages: 8 (3337 words) Published: May 27, 2013
Beloved Essay
In today’s modernized world, it is crucial to be able to comprehend and recognize conflicts dealing with racial tensions due to the increased growth of diversity in nations all over the world. Countries like North America are inhabited by people of different backgrounds, cultures, and colors. Since there is intermingling among everyone, the differences between the diverse ethnic backgrounds could stir up trouble which can lead to serious skirmishes like Watts Rebellion in 1965. To prevent and weaken the strength of racial tension, the citizens of the United States must be educated about racial problems before being released into the real world. The best approach towards racial equity begins in the classroom and through literature which is where the book Beloved comes into the picture. Beloved fits ideally into the UCLA principles of community one being “We acknowledge that modern societies carry historical and divisive biases based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and religion, and we seek to promote awareness and understanding through education and research and to mediate and resolve conflicts that arise from these biases in our communities.”

The first standard of the Critical Race Theory is the critique of liberalism. Critique of liberalism claims that the liberals have not done enough to aid the African Americans in the fight for equal rights since racism continues to exist in the American society. This can be seen through the Garners, who are owners of a plantation called “Sweet Home” in Beloved. “In Lillian Garner’s house, exempted from the field work that broke her hip and the exhaustion that drugged her mind; in Lillian Garner’s house where nobody knocked her down (or up), she listened to the white woman humming at her work; watched her face light up when Mr. Garner came in and thought, It’s better here, but I’m not. The Garners, it seemed to her, ran a special kind of slavery, treating them like paid labor, listening to what they said, teaching what they wanted known. And he didn’t stud his boys. Never brought them to her cabin with directions to ‘lay down with her,’ like they did in Carolina, or rented their sex out on other farms” (Morrison 165) As seen in this quote, the Garners were kinder to their slaves compared to many other slave owners. However, the Garners refused to give up slavery and continued to participate in the slavery industry. Just because the Garners are pleasant to their slaves does not justify the righteousness to own and dehumanize another person. Another example would be when Baby Suggs was required to work for the Bodwins in order to be able to stay in House 124. “’She’s the best cobbler you ever see,’ said Mr. Garner. ‘Cobbler?’ Sister Bodwin raised her black thick eyebrows. ‘Who taught you that?’ ‘Was a slave taught me,’ said Baby Suggs. ‘New boots, or just repair?’ ‘New, old, anything.’ ‘Well,’ said Brother Bodwin, ‘that’ll be something, but you’ll need more’” (171) The Bodwins put on a kind front by offering a house of theirs to Baby Suggs. However, by asking Baby Suggs what jobs she can fulfill, the Bodwins expose a bit of their own selfishness of requiring Baby Suggs to provide a service at her own expense in order to be able to live in the “given” House 124. This shows that even with purchased freedom and the “help” from liberals, Baby Suggs still struggled as a “free” African American in society. Speaking of the Bodwins, the abolitionist siblings provide yet another example of why liberals are critiqued. “… Denver left, but not before she had seen, sitting on a shelf by the back door, a blackboy’s mouth full of money. His head was thrown back farther than a head could go, his hands were shoved in his pockets. Bulging like moons, two eyes were all the face he had above the gaping red mouth. His hair was a cluster of raised, widely spaced dots made of nail heads. And he was on his knees. His mouth, wide as a cup, held the coins needed...
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