The Marrow of Tradition, by Charles W. Chesnutt

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Throughout the history of the United States of America, the country has always been divided by race. No matter the century or decade, there has always been an issue present dealing with this problem in some shape or form. Though the value system of the United States has always been based on equal rights for all, there have always been those individuals that cannot except that all men are created equal. There is no supreme race. Everyone is entitled to his or her natural rights given at birth. Every person should have the same opportunity as the other as long as they are willing to work for what they receive. In Charles W. Chesnutt’s novel, The Marrow of Tradition, racial riots in the South are the key issue present in regards to racial tension. Through the results of these riots, elements of society are exposed so that change can be made. The irony present when dealing the concept of freedom in America causes great discussion about the ideals on which our country was originally founded. Americans take great pride in not having a ruler that dictates their every move. How it is possible that in the past Americans felt, and even feel today, that there is a white supremacy? This standpoint may be a more modern view of the issue, but it is still a prevalent one. Before the Civil War, African Americans were not only viewed as another’s personal property, but also as non-human entities that were below everyone else. Our own Declaration of Independence, the very document that announced our freedom from a ruling power, states verbatim, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happ... ... middle of paper ... ...ese problems, such as the southern race riots, that solutions were able to be created in order to alleviate these issues for future generations. Though there are certainly still issues of civil rights around in this day and age, they are nowhere near as prevalent as they have been in the past. Though we may not be able to solve all of our present issues right now, one day, in retrospect, someone will look back on this era in American history and be able to see how the problems of our generation were able to be fixed as well. It’s been said that history has a way of repeating itself. If this is the case, then issues of civil rights will always be present in some form. How we handle these issues as a society will ultimately determine the future of this country. Works Cited Chesnutt, Charles W. . The Marrow of Tradition. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1993. Print.

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