Attitudes Toward African-Americans In Bruce Watson's Freedom Summer

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In his novel Freedom Summer, Bruce Watson chronicles the journey of more than seven hundred volunteers as they prepared for and delved into Mississippi in an effort to educate and register black citizens to vote. That summer the actions of a few sparked the much needed change for all of America. However, out of all the changes that resulted from Freedom Summer, I will argue that the most significant change was that of the attitude from whites and African-Americans toward each other and for Southern African-Americans towards themselves. Overall the changes seen in the South and North were varied, but the white Northerners' and Mississippians' attitudes witnessed more change than the rest of the South. Before summer of 1964—what later became known as Freedom Summer—the overall attitude of white America was that…show more content…
With these qualities attributed to African-Americans by default, whites subsequently dehumanized and even demonized African-Americans to some extent, and this image of anyone darker-skinned was reinforced by the media which only portrayed African-Americans in subservient roles (5). Throughout Freedom Summer, however, that attitude began to change, albeit a lot slower in the South than the North. Parents and family of volunteers as well as people who initially were skeptical of or berated the Freedom Summer volunteers begun collecting donations for and voicing their support of the volunteers down in Mississippi. This support then inevitably created a chain reaction that ultimately put Mississippi and her people in the national spotlight where they were forced to realize and redefine their attitudes towards African-Americans. By far Mississippi had the biggest attitude reform between the

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