Racial Prejudice

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Throughout history, human beings have been eager to explore new worlds, conquer diverse lands and invent unbelievably amazing things. However, despite this inner thirst to discover new things, there is still resistance to accept those who appear different amongst us. Racial Prejudice is an insidious moral and social disease affecting populations all over the world. It can be diagnosed by its various symptoms and manifestations which include fear, intolerance, separation, segregation, discrimination and hatred. While all of these symptoms of racial prejudice may be evident, the single underlying cause of Racial Prejudice is ignorance. While all humans belong to the same species, races are distinguished from one another by such characteristics as hair colour and texture, skin colour, eye colour and shape, and the size of limbs and body parts. Though these differences are superficial mankind itself continues to view each other from the features that are outwardly perceived. Indeed, humans are outwardly different in appearance; the problem arises when the symptoms of the disease become evident: intolerance, separation and hatred. In a positive light, one may embrace the differences of peoples across the face of the earth and marvel at the uniqueness of the individuals who live on a different part of the globe or even across the street. Racial Prejudice perverts this uniqueness of the races and takes the view that these differences separate individuals further into groups, with one group always being inferior to the other. Racial prejudice has been a major cause of death and destruction to many cultures throughout history, some more so than others. The African American culture has been attempting to adjust itself to a world whose laws, customs and instruments of power were levelled against them. With white power being dominant, the African American community has always been marginalised and portrayed in a negative light. Over the years there have been many different novels, movies, poems and television shows representing how racial prejudice has affected a community. For this task three texts will be examined in attempt to demonstrate how prejudice and ignorance are undeniably destructive for those who have been denied basic rights. The three texts to be examined are the Pulitzer-prize winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee; a popular poem named Between The World & Me, by Richard Wright and finally the Oscar-winning movie, Mississippi Burning. Each one of these texts carries a message about racial prejudice and has illustrated this message in their own individual manner.

The Civil rights movement in America in the 1950’s and 1960’s was about engineering social justice, specifically with reference to African Americans. Martin Luther King showed the white population that racism is a cancer in the heart of those who have prejudice. He showed them that it violates the most basic human values of justice and equal opportunity. This movement succeeded eventually, but not without cost. The civil rights movement invaded the consciousness of Americans and showed them signs of hope and progress to a new world. In 1964, the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) organised its Freedom Summer campaign, with the main objective being to end the political revocation of the right to vote for the African American people in the Deep South. During this time the CORE also established 30 Freedom Schools in towns throughout Mississippi. The school curriculum included black history and the philosophy of the civil rights movement and the curriculum was usually taught by volunteers. Freedom Schools were often targets of white mobs as were the homes of the local African Americans involved in the campaign. During the summer of 1964, 30 black homes and 37 black churches were firebombed. This horror and injustice along with the murder of two civil rights workers and a young black man by corrupt law enforcement inspired the Oscar-winning...
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