Reaping the Whirlwind

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A Warning for Mankind

When Robert J. Norrel wrote the novel, “Reaping the Whirlwind: The Civil Rights Movement in Tuskegee” he knew that it would evoke many reactions in people around the world. He wrote about a catastrophic subject that racked the United States for decades and he meant for this novel to be something that mankind could always look back to and remember their errors so something like segregation and the struggle for civil rights for African Americans would never happen again. The novel is chalk full of themes and important issues but two of the most prominent are the thought of power and the desire for assimilation. The struggle to keep the power they’ve had for hundreds of years for Southern whites in Macon County and Tuskegee, Alabama, is what keeps them fighting so hard to ensure that they won’t have to share this power with the African Americans. On the other hand, the African Americans aren’t worried as much about power as they are about assimilating into society and gaining independence so they can live side by side with the white community rather than below them. This novel itself was a success because it accurately depicted the struggles and hardships that the African Americans had to in order to gain civil rights that they should have been guaranteed as a citizen of the United States. It’s goal was to serve as an artifact of history to look back on so the same egregious mistakes won’t be made in the future. I personally thought the novel accomplished this goal just by incorporating the nitty gritty details about the struggle for assimilation however, Norrell also included what he thought the rationale of the White person was at this time. This is where the struggle of power comes in. He explains that the White people of Macon County and Tuskegee, Alabama didn’t want to share the any sort of civil rights that they had always had over the African Americans of their area and in the country. By including this Page 2

A Warning...
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