Comparison Of Black Boy And Separate Pasts

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The Memoirs of Black Boy and Separate Pasts In the two audio biography books, each author describes their experience growing up in the time of Jim Crow South. In both books, they illustrate the differences in perspectives in the face of racism during the south, and their front row seats in this period. These two audio biographies are “Black Boy” by Richard Wright, and “Separate Pasts: Growing up White in the Segregated South” by Melton A. McLaurin. What these two books provide for the modern viewer is the perspective of the two-race spectrum: white and blacks. The memoirs recall back to their childhood and young adult lives growing up in the 1920s south, and how they become aware of the segregation in the south. These two books provide a perspective …show more content…

When it comes to who is more aware at a much younger age, in Separate Pasts, Melton knew the social status of blacks—as opposed to Richard. In correspondence, Melton says “…all whites knew that blacks were, really, servants. It was their destiny to work at menial tasks, supervised, of course, by benevolent whites. All this was according to God’s plan and was perfectly obvious to all but dimwitted Yankees and Communists” (p. 31). What this shows is that Melton knew about the social roles of black, and already indoctrinated in the mindset of being white is more superior than blacks. In Richards case, he didn’t figure the difference at an early age. This is proven by a conversation between him, and his Mother:
“The ‘white’ man did not whip the ‘black’ boy,” my mother told me. “He beat the ‘black’ boy.”
“But …show more content…

Furthermore, to what was said, Richard provided a perspective of how southern whites views themselves. Richard describes how “The southern whites would rather have had Negroes who stole, work for them than Negroes who knew, however dimly, the worth of their own humanity. Hence, whites placed a premium upon black deceit; they encouraged irresponsibility; and their rewards were bestowed upon us blacks in the degree that we could make them feel safe and superior” (p. 202). This quote symbolizes the oppression of what whites have on blacks. The fact that southern whites encourage bad behavior towards blacks in order to feel superior—says a lot about how southern society operated in that time. Of course, this in the mindset of the oppressed. What about the white’s frame of mind? In Separate Pasts, Melton expresses his early knowledge in knowing he was superior to blacks. He clarifies this by saying “I knew, for I had been told since birth, that whites were superior to blacks." (p. 30). As you can see, the entirely of blame for whites being racist cannot be one hundred percent true. Some of the many factors that can influence a child’s mind is their environment, and someone telling a young mind that they are superior towards a certain ethnic group—can leave a long-lasting domestication train of thoughts that

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