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Analysis Of Richard Wright's The Ethics Of Living Jim Crow

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Imagine living in a society where the tone of one’s skin subjected them to unfair treatment and rules. This was the reality to African-Americans in the South from the end of the nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. Richard Wright describes the experiences of living with Jim Crow laws in his essay “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow.” African-Americans were oppressed, especially the women, and forced to follow absurd rules. Many times, the police only encouraged these unlawful rules and targeted Blacks. A Black person could not live a life relatively free of conflict even if they adhered to the ethics of Jim Crow. There were many unfair and ridiculous rules that Blacks had to follow. One of these was that they must always…show more content…
There arises a problem when the officers intended to uphold this law target individuals solely based on their race. In one instance a Black woman was taken out of a car and forced into a building as a policeman watched on. When she emerged all bruised and bloodied, Wright “watched him throw her into a patrol wagon.” (7) The woman was arrested for supposedly being drunk when the officer had clearly seen that she had done nothing wrong and was instead the victim. Wright experienced this same phenomenon himself. Some policemen saw him riding his bike through a white neighborhood at night. The officers swerved into him and forced him to put his hands up as “they climbed out of the car, guns drawn, faces set, and advanced slowly.” (10) They searched him thoroughly and seemed disappointed when they found nothing. Neither Wright nor the woman had committed any offense or broken any Jim Crow laws, but law enforcement still harassed them solely on the basis of their race. The reality of being Black and living in the American South during the era of Jim Crow was terrible. Richard Wright was able to convey this powerful message through his autobiographical essay. Jim Crow forced Blacks to adhere to impossibly high standards around whites and victimized many women. There was little to no help for African-Americans at this time because even the police were targeting them. No matter how closely Blacks followed the Jim Crow
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