Examples Of Racism In A Party Down At The Square

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A Party Down at the Square: Racism in the 20th Century The United States boasts a paradigm of the “American dream” and boasts as the “Land of the Free” with equal opportunities for all. However, human rights abuses evidently remain to pervade the lives of many today. Even in other countries, especially those in the Middle East, people are forced to live with living conditions not even considered fit for an animal due to social and racial factors. For decades especially, white Americans treated people of color in ways that are inhumane and were even treated less than an animal. In fact, the lynching of blacks was considered a form of entertainment in the deep south in the early to mid 20th century. This is described in Ralph Ellison’s short…show more content…
Imagining a party would be filled with excitement, dancing, singing, and joy; however, the concept of a party described in the opening lines were of a lynching and burning of a black man in the town square. This was their form of entertainment. A crowd was gathered around a black man on a platform about to be burned. The white crowd was freezing in the cold weather but they felt no sympathy towards the black man without a shirt on trying to get rid of his shivers. “Take your hands out of your pockets nigger; we gona have plenty heat in a minnit.” (188), yells one unsympathetic white man. The crowd even started yelling to “hurry up and kill the nigger.” (188) The narrator had also noted that there was not another single black man in sight other than a “Bacote nigger” and that they have “dragged him there tied to the back of Jed Wilson’s truck” (188). This is so significant. It exemplifies just how whites viewed blacks so much less of a human. They are not respected and they are treated in such an inhumane way not even fit for an animal. “The nigger was bleeding from his nose and ears, and I could see him all red where the dark blood was running down his black skin. He kept lifting first one foot and then the other, like a chicken on a hot stove.” (189). This statement is very somatic; it describes exactly what is happening to the black man. It saddens me to think that this…show more content…
First, it was the killing of the black man and the storm, the plane incident, the woman being electrocuted, and it is revealed that the airplane line is investigating to find out who set the fire that almost wrecked their plane (193). This hints that there will soon be change around the south, and one that southerners might not like. “I don’t know though, the folks seem a little skittish of the niggers. [...] The other day I was down at Brinkley’s store, and a white cropper said it didn’t do no good to kill the niggers ‘cause things don’t get any better.” (193). The narrator had also stated that somebody had told the cropper to “shut up” and he did, but from the look on his face, he won’t stay shut for long (193). This hints that the brutality in the south will soon end and white supremacy will ultimately be challenged. Ralph Ellison made an incredible statement in writing The Party Down at the Square about racism and the white inhumanity in the south during the 20th

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