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Racial Injustice in A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry and Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin

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"I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls." by Martin Luther King Jr, the dream that is still unfulfilled. White supremacy, black inferiority, Jim Crow law, segregation, racial terror, and racial inequality are the most common topics of American history. The quote of Martin Luther King Jr asserts the truth that racial injustice was in the vein of the American dream. He hopes someday that injustice, the view that African Americans are inferior will go away, and they will be treated equally like a full human being. The theme of racial injustice is prevalent in both “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry and “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin stories. Both of the stories shows contrasting view on African American people living in fear of racial terrorism, physical harm, housing inequality, and dangerous life in segregated black neighborhood. However, they share similar views on racism in the form of economic oppression, and the experience of racial injustice in both of the author’s life which are expressed through their respective stories.
In the 1950s, racism was at its best and racial conflict was a common occurrence throughout the USA; black people were living in the fear of racial terrorism and physical harm. The determination of the white people to deny equal rights for the black people frequently resulted in to violent clashes, and that led to racial terrorism and physical attack on the black people. Thus, black people used to live in the fear of physical harm. In “A Raisin in the Sun”, the evidence of racial terrorism was prevalent, and it was explain in two occasions. Jacqueline Foertsch wrote in her “Against the "starless midnight of racism and war": A...


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...orey. "'To Keep from Shaking to Pieces': Addiction and Bearing Reality in 'Sonny's Blues.'." The Languages of Addiction. Ed. Jane Lilienfeld and Jeffrey Oxford. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. 175-192. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 229. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Literature Resource Center. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.

Bernstein, Robin. "Inventing a Fishbowl: White Supremacy and the Critical Reception of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun."Modern Drama 42.1 (Spring 1999): 16-27. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 192. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.

"James Baldwin Biography." Biography.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. .



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