For my paper on the movie Boyz N the Hood as well as the reading Black Freedom Fighters in Steel, I will find a common theme that is used in both and explain how they used that theme in their work. The common theme that I found that was used in both the movie and the book is how the characters dealt with the oppression that was in their lives. The characters from the movie Boyz N the Hood that I will be referring to are Doughboy, Officer Coffey, and Shalika. The characters that I will be using from the book Black Freedom Fighters in Steel are George Kimbley, Curtis Strong, and Jonathan Comer. They all dealt with oppression differently some used it to their advantage, some people used it to hurt others, some made something of themselves, and some did nothing to make themselves better.
In Black Freedom Fighters in Steel, George Kimbley was the first man that I read about who stuck in my head while the whole time while reading this book. His mother had taught him at a young age by watching and observing how she dealt with the white people. She used trust as a form of power. If you could get the white folks to trust you and hold certain secrets between you, then that would go a long way back in the day. As a young child George did not go that far in school because he always thought he was a bright kid and could easily remember information after reading it one time. George would go up to the eighth grade and start his life as a working man. He would play along with how the white people who treated him bad and make them feel uncomfortable. He would teach them a lesson by embarrassing them in front of their peers. He would show the white people that he was unaffected by their words and would bury those feelings deep down even if it hurt he wouldn’t show them that it was affecting him. Teaching the white people that their words do not affect you is a great way to deal with the oppression. George using trust as a way of dealing with the oppression came when he was working the ice wagon. He was working with a guy named Adam’s, and he would walk to the people’s houses and if they had the money he would leave the ice for them but if they did not have the money he would take it and walk to the next house. Well George would watch this and use this to his advantage. George would walk up to those houses that did not have the money and he would bring them the ice. One event took place when he walked into a lady’s house with ice and she said, “Well, the other man was in here; he wouldn’t leave the ice, because we didn’t have the money.” And I says, “Well, I can’t take it back. Oh, I know how hot it is and all, and if I let you have this ice and they find out, they’ll fire me and I don’t want to be fired.” “Oh, I won’t tell anybody and I would leave the ice” (pg. 16-17). He would use this trust to show the white people to not stereotype him or any black person just because of their skin. He did this to show them that he is a caring person and is a good person and will help out someone no matter what color their skin is. While working at the mill he fought to get the black man into the union and once that he got them into the union, he did not want them to get any favors. He simply wanted every man working there to earn their way on their own merit. No hand-outs for anybody but for everyone to be brothers. George Kimbley did not want favoritism for African American’s, but give them a chance to prove what they could do and not judge or think down upon them because of the color of their skin.
The second man that I read about was Curtis Strong. One word that can describe him is rebel. He was an outspoken man and he did not let any problem go unattended on his watch. Curtis said, “I often wondered why blacks take so damn much of that before they rebel. I realize, though, that we had been conditioned for untold number of years that you did have a place” (pg. 89). He used his mouth to fight the black man’s fight...
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