Monday, April 21, 2008
Remembering Jim Crow
While reading the various accounts of the children and grandchildren of slaves that were told in the “Remembering Jim Crow” reading it struck my just how deeply engrained in society the division between blacks and whites are even to this day. The atrocities that occurred during slavery are obviously still fresh in the minds of blacks today, and in some cases they are reminded of these acts on a daily basis. In the case of Cora Eliza Randle Flemming who’s grandmother was raped by a white man, the daily reminder was there every time that she looked in the mirror. This resentment in Flemming’s case manifested itself by her throwing bricks at the white man who lived down the street. In the face of such deeply engrained distrust of whites, it seems to put into perspective why so many attempts at transforming into an egalitarian society have failed. I am not trying to place the blame upon whites or blacks for not releasing these deep seated thoughts, but to try and help conceptualize the failures of the many attempts to bridge these gaps in our society. Such facts as that blacks in the South celebrated event such as Emancipation Day and Fredrick Douglas’ Birthday well whites in the South celebrated Jefferson Davis Birthday and had a day to commemorate Confederate soldiers, show that even today there are two parallel cultures that exist in the South. It seems almost ignorant to believe that after one group of people have total physical, economic, and cultural control over another group that these two groups could coexist peacefully. This is not to say that attempts at this should be abandoned, but by learning more about these differences I believe will allow us to set more achievable goals for future civil rights endeavors.