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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Satisfactory Essays
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“You felt sorry for her, you felt sorry for her?” (Lee 197) A quote from Harper Lee’s award winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which says so much. It shows the prejudice present in the 1920’s and 1930’s and how a black man could not feel sorry for a white woman because he was black. Negroes were not treated as equals. In fact, Negroes were believed to be less than second-class citizens, even level with the animals on the social ladder and biologically inferior to whites. Negroes were lynched often in many states, without reason, by white mobs. Blacks weren’t treated right in any part of American society including the courtroom. , with both the lynching in the streets and the prejudice in the courtroom this was a time where blacks did not have a fair chance both in and out of court.

Many things happened throughout the past to create racial disharmony in the early 1900’s. Since the first slaves were brought to America whites have seen the Negro race as inferior and unequal. They were merely chattel purchased for the sole purpose as to provide for his master. Slaves were beaten to ‘keep them in line’ or killed to set an example for the rest. As time passed Negroes gained more freedom but also more hatred from the white populace. The formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in 1866 greatly heightened tension between the black and white races. They preached White supremacy, “It is simple reality that to be born White is an honor and a privilege.” () To treat a Negro as an equal was viewed not only wrong but also as a direct insult and threat to the white race. “We must secure the existence of our race and a future for White children” () When a black was accused of a crime or a white person didn’t like him he could be punished by the KKK or mob through lynching, burning, dismembering, and or torturing. Nearly none of the time did the lynchings ever go to court. “A Mississippi lynch mob of 2,000 burns an accused black rapist alive a coroner’s jury returns a verdict of death ”due to unknown causes.” And Mississippi governor Theodore G. Bilbo says the state has “neither the time nor the money” to go into the matter.
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