How Is Racism Presented in the Novel of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry?

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How is racism presented in the novel of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry? Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a novel based in the Southern States of America in the 1930’s and deals with the theme of Racism amongst other themes. Racism is being prejudice or discriminating against someone of a different race based on such a belief. Following on from the Civil War, America experienced ‘The Great Depression’ and it affected everyone, especially blacks. Mildred Taylor reveals examples of racism and racist behaviour throughout the novel based on her own experiences. In this essay, I will discuss what blacks were subjected to and how racism is presented in this novel. Right from the very start, the Logan Children, although they have been protected from racism, experience unjust acts against them. The books that the Logan Children use in school were previously owned by the white children until they were considered too tatty for them to use. The books also include the race of the student, using the word "nigra." However, Little Man and Cassie do not know how to react to this: “…he sucked in his breath and sprang from his chair like a wounded animal, flinging the book onto the floor and stomping madly upon it.” This demonstrates how naïve Little Man is as he reacts angry and offended because he has not been treated in that way before. This also shows that blacks do not need or require books that are in good condition because of the racist opinions of the whites. TJ Avery, a character introduced early on in the novel, is accustomed to racism and recognises it. He frequently gossips and enlightens the Logan Children about racist acts. An example of this is when he passes on details concerning the Berry Burnings: “I betcha I could give y’all an earful ‘bout that burnin’ last night” The Logan Children act surprised and reply with ‘Burning? What burning?’ which further reveals their innocence and naivety to racism. Moreover, this illustrates TJ’s understanding of unjust and prejudice...
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