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Slavery and Racism Influences

The Civil War was a fight against slavery in the mid to late 1800s. When the North won and abolished slavery, the South still had the mindset of slavery; they thought that black people or previous slaves were below them like they had always been. Different black people had different responses to this heinous behavior by the white Southerners. Some accepted the discriminatory treatment by the whites while others wanted vengeance for the belittling treatment as slaves. In the book The Marrow of Tradition, there are multiple black characters who exhibit different responses to the racism shown in different events throughout the novel. These characters, Dr. Miller, Josh Greene, and Jerry are greatly affect by slavery and racism as shown throughout the book.
First, Dr. Miller is an unique character because he is a well-off, black doctor. Though he dislikes racism towards blacks, he does not take action against it. To begin, Dr. Miller shows effects of slavery in his character because he is extremely hard working. For example, Miller opens a hospital which takes a lot of his time and energy because he must travel to get supplies and work as a doctor in his hospital. Next, racism has had a much bigger effect on Dr. Miller. When Major Carteret’s baby Dodie needs medical help, Carteret does not allow him to help with the operation. Being turned away because of color is racist, and it makes Dr. Miller feel incompetent. Lastly, another scene in the book is when Dr. Miller is on a train, talking to a white friend. The train worker makes him move to the black-labeled car, saying, “‘but the law of Virginia does not permit colored passengers to ride in the white cars’” (Chesnutt 34). Therefore, the racism affected Miller by making him seem too i...

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... Clearly, Jerry is affected by slavery and racism because he is still in the slave mindset.
Dr. Miller, Josh Green, and Jerry, three diverse black characters from The Marrow of Tradition, exhibit different effects of slavery and racism throughout the book. Dr. Miller gets his hard working qualities from his slavery influence, but racism makes him feel inferior. Josh Green, on the other hand, is socially subordinate because of slavery, and the racism makes him extremely violent towards whites. Lastly, Jerry is so influenced by white men that he still thinks he is under their control and conforms to everything they do; racism affects him by making him racist against blacks. The Civil War, though it supposedly ended slavery, monumentally impacted the blacks through racism and the long term consequences of slavery. Then was winning the Civil War this way for the better?

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