[Customer’s Name] Romanaticized Blackness by Whites to "The Folk" A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle-Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America by Elizabeth Grace Hale is quite a mouthful of a title, but the name itself tells us quite a bit of what the book is about…
He touches several other related topics as well. Throughout Hale’s book she has mentioned how the white Americans were much more open to the ideas of sharing the same hobbies, the same interests with the colored population and so they are termed as ‘outsiders’. This sudden change over several years caused a great transformation in the society and culture. The rebellion was such that a person’s race did not count, the discriminatory acts were slowing down. On the other hand, Baldwin’s stories clearly display that there was no such thing as fairness and justice between the races. The blacks were still treated wrongly, judged because of their skin color, the facts ignored because a white man was not to be blamed. It always had to be the colored man’s fault and he was unjustly punished for it. One of the stories Baldwin has written is Rockpile. The Grimes family consists of mixed ethnicity. The members are all white except on boy called John who is Reverend Gabriel Grimes’ step son – son of his wife’s with another man before their marriage. Despite being a man of God, Grimes does not treat John fairly just because of his skin color. The incident related in the story is how Grimes’ son Rory gets injured due to his own fault, but John receives all the censure for it because he is black. Rory gets into a fight with some African American boys and hurts himself. "They fought on the rockpile. Sure footed, dangerous, and reckless, they rushed each other and grappled on the heights (…) Immediately, one side of Roy's face ran with blood, he fell and rolled on his face down the rocks" (Long and Collier 541) The story mostly shows the tumultuous relationship between the two. They were fighting with each other for no reason other than their color. John was thought to be guilty because of no other basis than the fact that he was black so obviously it was his entire fault. The unfairness is clearly shown here and it is quite a different version of what Hale is talking about in her own book. Times were quite difficult then. The sufferance during the Great Depression led to the white people unemployed. Only the blacks still had employment opportunities as they were willing to work for cheap wages and long hours. As more and more people were sacked, the menial tasks set aside for the blacks were given to whites. This was one of the early signs of prejudice and racism. Hale writes that the white Americans called themselves the outsiders during these times since they were not working. It was the ‘in’ thing even though they still had much more privileged lives than the blacks who were even working. The latter had very less income; the divide between the rich and poor was great. The poor automatically became even poorer whilst the rich continued to prosper despite the troubled times. The economic divide between the two races was great and yet the whites continued to compare their problems with those of the blacks. They did not realize that they were in a much greater, luckier position. Another story written by Baldwin is Sonny’s Blues. It is referring to the songs which were preferred in that time period. The story is about two brothers who are not really close but the narrator is showed as being worried for his sibling despite the distance. Sonny is a gifted pianist but he is troubled because he has no idea what to do with his talent. He gets into drugs till he becomes really addicted to them and puts everyone concerned ...
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Folk songs have traditionally been a means of passing down the oral history of a society.
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