African American Literature
28 November 2012
Sorrows Within the Community
November 11, 2011 was the saddest day for all fellow Hickman students: the death of a friend, son, and student, James Edward Hickem. The next day, the entire Hickman student body mourned; every hall had friends crying. Even those who did not know James still walked silently to classes to pay their respect. At the funeral, it felt as if half of Columbia had shown up. That is when reality hit: it took a mother’s loss to bring a community together, especially the black community. Besides the random gatherings, you see at Douglas Park during the summer, the black community does not gather often just to celebrate each other, only to mourn together. Tony Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye and Bill Cosby’s Pound Cake speech, men and women within the African American community need to learn how to be parents to their children, that their absence has a negative impact on their children’s lives, and how to treat the members of their community with compassion. To begin with, too many people within the African American community no longer raise their children. In the early days, children feared their mothers and fathers because parents kept track of where their children were; they put so much fear in their children that they would not lie to them. Children knew there were strict punishments for lying or doing something they were not supposed to do. Lately, children do not fear their parents because parents no longer punish their children; they reward them for good and bad behavior. All “parents” care about now is pleasing their children. In the Bluest Eye, Geraldine raises her son to hate niggers, and when he invites Pecola over to their house and bullies her by throwing Geraldine’s beloved cat on Pecola and then killing the cat, he blames it on Pecola when Geraldine comes home. Geraldine knows that her son killed the cat, but instead “she calmly tells Pecola, ‘Get out,’ her voice quiet, ‘you nasty...
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