Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Richard Wright, "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow".

2) In his essay "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow," Richard Wright describes his experiences as a young man learning about the power system of the South. How would you describe this system: who has the power? How do they hold on to it? How do people without power respond and resist? What forms of resistance do you think would be effective in this system?

In the essay "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" the southern system is very corrupted among the black community. Obviously the Whites have the power, but to much power that they can do an act so wrong and not be punished for it. Take the second chapter for example, the black woman was half dragged into the store by the boss and his son and beat her until they were satisfied, just because she didn't pay her bills. As for those without power -the black community- they couldn't do much because they would be punished at any given level depending on the white man's liking. Many of the black community believed that what Richard did was a foolish act and drilled into his head not to question and respect the White man if he wants to live another day. One form of resistance that would be effective in the system according to the book was to move to Memphis, there was less cruelty and he was able to borrow some books off the library because one of the people working there was a catholic and felt sympathy for the black community. From there he was able to strategically plot out a way to get books in the library and get pass other staff members without having to look suspicious.