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Segregation In The 1970s Essay

1921 words - 8 pages

Imagine a world where prestige is evaluated by neither one’s character nor success. A society which deems it right to believe one’s honor is predetermined by skin color. Visualize a world in which nuances of skin color are used to divide people amongst two factions: White or Black. Envision a society segregated. Whites and Blacks tossed into two different worlds, as if mankind is a pile of dirty laundry which needs to be organized by color. The reality is this hypothetical world did in fact exist in the United States prior to the 1970s.
Racial segregation is a vastly recognized branch of social stratification in American history. Jeannette Walls was a witness of the effects of segregation. She was born on April 21st, 1960 in Phoenix, Arizona. Thus, she lived through the segregation period in the South. Her books reflect experiences of her life, such as growing up in poverty simultaneous to being neglected by her parents. “The Glass Castle” exemplifies her tactic of using literature to share her experiences. “Jeannette Walls expertly turns her painful childhood into a book that depicts poverty from the understanding and point of view as a child, a teenager and an adult.”(Reno) Jeanette Walls also wrote “Silver Star”, a story which takes place in the South and revolves around two troubled teenage girls living in the seventies. One can infer she used the characters to reflect her own experiences growing up as a teenager in the seventies. Although the main characters in the book were fictional, the sociological conflicts they dealt with in this time period were relevant.
Moreover, in the book “Silver Star” two sisters, Bean and Liz, reside within the possession of their single mother Charlotte. This “tribe of three” is under financial duress since Charlotte is incapable of landing a job which will provide them with a solid income. They support themselves by using the leftover money inherited from their ancestors who were once plantation owners. The girls are abandoned by their mother Charlotte, who has a meltdown and runs away after Bean finds out that she lied about having a boyfriend. After their mother runs away, a few days later the “bandersnatchers” become suspicious of the girls living without parental supervision. Consequently, Bean and Liz must find shelter while their mother is away. They travel from California to Byler, Virginia on a scavenger hunt to find their Uncle Tinsley. The girls hope he will be willing to take them under his wings for the time being; hoping their hectic trip to Byler was not fruitless. Nevertheless, it is prevalent that this isn’t the first time the girls were forced to find their way on their own. Charlotte has made a pattern of running away from her problems, despite her daughters’ desire to reside in a permanent home; subsequently they habitually migrate from one place to another.
“Every time we run into a problem, we just leave,” I said. “But we always run into a new problem in the new place, and then we...

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