Racism in Blackout vs Berry

Topics: White people, Race and Ethnicity, Black people Pages: 2 (625 words) Published: June 13, 2012
The theme of racism is clearly apparent in two short stories “Berry” and “Blackout” and will be discussed and compared. Blackout is the story of an American woman who was waiting at a bus stop when a black man approaches her and asks for a light. She does not have a match so she gives him a light from her cigarette, but upon returning it she flicks it away. The man is clearly offended and later a conversation ensues about race and gender. The short story “Berry” is about a black man hired at last minute at a home for crippled as a kitchen boy due to the previous worker leaving the job without notice. He was paid $8 instead of the actual wage of $10 despite being made to do much more work than he was supposed to a lot of which was not kitchen boy work. He knew he was being underpaid for all the work he was doing as the other workers would ask him to do their work, but he did this without complaining because jobs were hard to come by especially for a black person in society at that time and he was hungry where he had been before so he kept the job. Berry became familiar with the children and they developed a love for him. Unfortunately one of the days when the children were being taken to the beach on the sand everyone wanted to be carried by him and one of the children fell from his chair. the other workers were upset and the head maid ran to call for the doctor who came immediately but the child refused to let go off Berry and go with the doctor though he eventually had to. The child was not hurt badly but the other workers all blamed Berry for what happened to the child. he was fired immediately without being paid and without the others looking at all the good he had done. In the story of Blackout the theme of racism is apparent but not blatant. The American white woman flicks her cigarette away because she is disgusted that the black man has taken the light from her cigarette. The black man was clearly offended by this gesture and comments on...
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