Black Slavery In Mark Twain's 'Roll Of Thunder'

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In the novel “Roll of Thunder,” Papa says to Stacey, “Far as I’m concerned friendship between black and white don’t mean much cause it usually ain’t on an equal basis.” His statement denotes that although people may believe that the two races could be friends the laws separating them mean they would never have a true and equal friendship. The history of black slavery demonstrates how they were thought of as less human and therefore treated accordingly. Although slavery was abolished, the generational racism and the beliefs of people who thought blacks were less human meant that they were avoided and segregated by the Jim Crow’s Laws that were specifically put in place to divide the two races.

Black slavery began in 1619 and ended in 1865 after the Civil War. The two centuries of slavery helped develop the white’s opinion about black people. “Some people thought it was wrong for any people to be slaves; so the people who needed the slaves to work in their fields and the people who were making money bringing slaves from Africa preached that black people weren’t really people like white people were, so slavery was right.” They helped white Americans to believe that black people were second-rated humans because of their skin colour. That they were no use
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“Since we were boys, Harlan’s lived in the past. His grandmother filled him with all kinds of tales about the glory of the South before the war… they felt it was up to them to see that everything worked smoothly, according to the law- a law basically for whites. Well, Harlan feels the same now as his grandmother did back then.” In this passage, Mr. Jamison explains to Papa one of the reasons why whites consider blacks to be inferior human beings. “Though seventy years passed since slavery, most white people still think of us as they did then- that we’re not as good as they
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