Although teenagers feel that segregation is in the past, the novel “The Rock and the River,” by Kekla Magoon, helps teens better understand, through multiple lenses in today's world, that just because segregation is no longer as prevalent, that does not mean racism is no longer an issue.
This picture represents how in the south in the 1960’s everything was segregated. It was a struggle for blacks to find something as simple as a laundromat available to them and reminds the viewer that the service and lower class jobs were the norm for black people.
This picture was taken 54 years after the first image and shows that racism is still an issue, even though people believe that segregation ended in the 1964 with the Civil Rights Act.
The Jim Crow law's were written to make segregation legal. The laws promoted "separate but equal" facilities. However, as shown above, the quality of what the black people were given access to was not equal to what the white people had.
Many black would peacefully protest for their rights and the cops would often show up making assumptions that they were being violent. Many protestors were wrongfully arrested and beaten in the process of being arrested.
While many of the segregation laws have been repealed, recent protests for black rights look similar to the segregation protests in the 1960's. According to journalist Carl Bialik, Black Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to be killed by police officers. This shows that racism is still alive today even though segregation is not being protested today.
This poem was written by Langston Hughes, a black man who lived in the 60's. This poem expresses that black people had fewer rights and had to fight for their rights if they wanted them. He is telling everyone who wants their rights to fight for them and not wait for them.
This quote is from President Trump who has a much different life, and much different perspective, than Langston Hughes. President Trump suggests that black people need to stop protesting because "There is no such thing as racism".
These quotes come from the opinions of 2 different people, Langston Hughes (a black man living in the 60's) and President Trump (a rich white man living in 2017). These two quotes reflect that there can be different lenses on a single topic, just like the cops in "The Rock and the River" have a different perspective than the character Sam. With her novel, Kekla Magoon helps teens understand that though segregation isn't mandated by law any longer, it doesn't mean that racism is past.
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