A Lesson Before Dying: Overcoming Societal Oppression in 2005

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Ernest J. Gaine's famous novel, A Lesson Before Dying accents the tension inherent among African Americans across the country during the 1940s. Gain's accentuates the ways in which the black exodus from the South alienated many African-Americans from their Southern heritage and roots, leaving them stranded in a world where one was expected to look, talk, and act white in order to be successful.


Though the Civil Rights movement and new legislation has carried society a long way in terms of civil equality, many groups still face oppression today in 2005. Many homosexuals fight a battle against hatred and civil oppression that parallels that of the civil rights struggle suffered by many African-Americans. On a smaller scale, young adults across America, and more specifically community college students right here in Los Angeles, still face oppression by social expectations, civil laws, and social customs.
Some community college students live at home and commute to school in order to lessen the financial burden. But, many college students must work and support themselves while paying for college with financial aid and student loans. With rising rent and housing costs, working one's way through college is a difficult prospect at best even under favorable circumstances. But, many students find themselves in a Catch-22 when it comes to income, financial aid, and health insurance. A student working a minimum wage job will not be able to support himself while attending college. ...
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