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Analysis Of Langston Hughes's 'Mulatto'

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The 1930’s were times of segregation and mistreatment of the black community. Although slavery had been abolished several years prior, people were still hostile toward this adjustment. Anytime a black or yellow person acted out or against social norm, as the whites would call it, they would be enraged. The white people could not see the damage caused by the unethical murderous acts they had been committing. Most of the whites of that time sat so comfortably upon their high horses, and were filled with the idea of being the superior of races. The setting of “Mulatto,” written by Langston Hughes, took place in Georgia during the mid 1930’s where tragic lynchings occurred, yellow children were on every plantation, and education was not a right…show more content…
The white plantation owners found it convenient to have their mistresses be the women that were already in the house working all the time. Those women were African American workers, so the wives would not suspect a thing. Thus, creating yellow offspring. As I mentioned before, the people considered to be yellow are neither white nor black. A white father and a black mother makes a yellow baby. Society referred to them as yellow because they were accused of not being white enough to deserve the same rights but not black enough to be subservient. They were an in-between nothingness, so the entire town would treat them very poorly. In a 1930’s census, the regulations stated, “Persons who were mixed ‘White and Negro blood’ were to be counted as “Negro” (apparently capitalized) no matter how small the share of “Negro blood.”’(Cohn). This also shows how few rights they had, no matter the amount of white blood that flows through their veins, yellows were still not equal in the eyes of the government. Colonel Norwood nearly beat Bert to death, when he was little, for addressing Norwood as papa in front of his white friends. Since that day, the Colonel decided he was not going to treat him as an equal, not even as a son. Higgins even fathered yellows, he admitted to having relations with yellows. Higgins told colonel Norwood, “I’ve given many a yellow gal a baby in my time.” (Hughes 1357).…show more content…
Even though slavery had been outlawed for a very long time, segregation during that time kept them at a lower level than whites even still. They made way less in wages, and had even less respect, and when they spoke out, it was considered not their place nor their right. The people of the town would gather and fix the problem as they called it, with violence and mobs. That would turn into lynching’s and chaos. The mixed people were not granted respect as well, even though they had a white parent. That parent would often times abandon them or treat them as not their own, like how Colonel Norwood refused to call the four children he fathered with Cora his own. The kids were not even allowed to call him papa. As for education for the African Americans, to not be considered a priority in this time is just sad but that was the time period they lived in. The 1930’s consisted of difficult challenges for African Americans but they persevered, and the times later changed for the better and morally
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