African American Race Relations In Kevin Boyle's Arc Of Justice

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Kevin Boyle’s book, Arc of Justice, provides a historical account of African American race relations throughout the 1910s, World War I, the 1920s and through the Jazz Age. Boyle’s novel follows the life story of Ossian Sweet, an African American physician who endured the incessant reprimands of White ethnocentricity and elitism. Through the account of Sweet, Boyle illustrates how the great migration of African Americans from the southern United States created waves of change throughout the North and in some aspects inhibited the progress of black civil liberties universally throughout the nation. Swinging economic conditions of the time period only fostered greater hostility in terms of race relations. Out lash, prosecution, and segregation…show more content…
Opportunity of economic advancement was one of the greatest draws for African Americans of the South regardless of the conditions they may find. “…warfare wasn’t enough…to stem the flow of migrants out of the south; was better to risk a sudden outburst on the streets of a major city than to face perpetual poverty and oppression in the cotton fields of Alabama or Mississippi,” (Boyle 99). Boyle’s account of history through this time period reflects that white supremacy and ethnocentricity was propelled by the economic ambitions of the African Americans. Boyle thematically leads that African Americans of the South acting to advance their incomes and economic stability by migrating north and filing labor positions of northern labor factories, asserted the race as a root cause of economic depression as viewed by White supremacists. Furthermore, even influential businessmen of this time period found the ambitions of their minority laborers as a threat to the nation’s progress, “Henry Ford raged against Jewish bankers and their Bolshevik Allies, who were conspiring to destroy all that Anglo-Saxon businessmen had built, his fury tinged with longing for those halcyon days when immigrants and Negros knew their place,” (Boyle 7). Consequently, the emergence of the African American demographic within the north propelled segregation nationally as the race moved throughout the country for economic

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