The book “Cane River” allows the reader to see how terrible life really was for the African Americans. Being born an African American into a life where the power of the white man was everything, they were forced to do as they were told, and they were always being told to “know their place”. From when they were born they were poor, and had nothing but still had plenty to lose. The start of racism is unknown, but it is something that has been affecting society and bringing down our country for centuries. Even though it has gotten better over the years it is still a huge issue in society today.
During the time of slavery, as described in the book, African American’s had no rights or choices. They were unable to work for pay, learn to read, or even have a family without permission. Some of them were treated worse then others and were beaten. Little changed until after the Civil War, when African Americans were free from slavery. Their life wasn’t any better, they were free, but still had to start a new life. They were forced to work on farms, for little pay. They were not socially accepted, and they were looked down upon, just like Emily experienced in the store.
There were still many men, like the one giving his speech, that were trying to push African Americans back into slavery. This is when they should have been fighting back but, many people, like Emily, were still too scared.
In 1955, Rosa Parks knew it was time to stick up for herself; it was time for change. She was tired of being pushed around, and she wasn’t going to take it anymore. This was about 20 years after Emily died. Even 20 years later things really hadn’t changed that much. The black people had their own schools, stores, and restaurants, but were still treated like they were nobody. They were forced to sit in the back of the bus, and if there were not enough seats they were forced to stand. Rosa Parks was tired after a long day at work, and was not about to give up her seat on the bus. She would not be forced to stand. Her courage to fight for her rights, and the rights of all the African Americans is what started turning the bumpy path of the civil rights movement.
Now, forty-eight years later, you’d think with all that has happened and changed things could be different, but they aren’t. Discrimination laws make it illegal to refuse or treat to people who are different, but there is still racism everywhere! Though it is not as bad, its still here and its terrible. Many people still believe that it is distasteful to have African Americans in the work force. It amazes me that in 2003 that people still can’t face the reality of change and the diversity in the United States, because if they did it would make our country so much stronger. It would eliminate hate crimes, such as the ones done to the white men in the story.
News reporters and writers continue to report stories of discrimination and racism. Society is not setting good examples for the children of the United States to learn from. As Americans we can’t even communicate and work together so how can we be likely to communicate and work with other nationalities. How can we expect to run our country on our own, forty to fifty years from now? We need to stick together and work to form a strong society instead of continuing to tear our communities apart.