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Separate Pasts By Author Melton Mc Laurin

1390 words - 6 pages

I want to start off this analysis essay of the book, “Separate Pasts,” by author MeltonMcLaurin, That it was really well written account of a world that for me, a 21st century youngwomen from a more open community, is completely foreign, and honestly disconnected. Thevery human connection between the reality of the segregated south and the author did allot forme to come to a better grasp of how racism in the south persisted. The fact that he lived in the eraand gave us the theme of change vs tradition throughout the book, gives me an insight of boththe past and present. The author Melton McLaurin reflects on his pasts by recalling his memoriesof growing up in Wade, North Carolina his ...view middle of the document...

There are so many things white people never talk about-
-all the stereotype and covert messages we adopt about people of color. I understand that as wegrow in aged, we start to see or understand things different, growing as a people per say, and thatthe past time is just the “past”, a period that can never be evoked; but in reality we are still ageneration that struggles with tradition, still being close enough to the era of extreme racism andsegregation but far enough that we can change the future, and try to end it. McLaurin statedsomething that I very much agree with and have struggled many years in stressing “…I havestruggled to convince those on both sides of the racial divide to view the past objectively, to useit and any commemorative undertakings as means to achieve a common goal of creating a lessracially divided society.” (pg. 169) This is the point that McLaurin try to make throughout thewhole book, the understanding of the culture of a white segregated south, and the oppression ofthe black community. He tries to make the reader understand his views, on how learning, andgrowing out if the traditional ways, to make and see changes and to advocate for improvementsof all people.Each person that McLaurin comes in contact with in his life is an individual to him not aperson above or below him. First it’s his interaction with his grandfather during the time he isworking in his store. His Grandfather played an important role in young Melton up-bringing’sduring his self-discovery. Young Melton at this time really didn’t know what separation of thetwo cultures was all about, it didn’t really affect his everyday life until he became older and startto listen, observe and grow. For example, blacks and whites attended different churches andacquired different jobs; black peoples’ way of living was viewed in a negative manner as such asunclean, criminalistics, poor. All these things where correct though because at the time blackpeople where considered inferior like animals, and the lack of proper city services and help tokeep their side clean was hard to come by. This becomes apparent to McLaurin as he states in
many paragraphs, “I just have a hard time understanding even how Street existed in his cave typepit. (pg. 44-45) There were also their “Congo illnesses.” (pg. 37) The way that McLaurin’shome life was gave him a different way of seeing things play through in his head then what wasactually going on and how really society looked upon things. This was an efficient way toexplain the way that tradition played into the view of people, because the black community wasjust getting out the era where they were not free.As a young child McLaurin had black playmate by the name of Bobo. During this timeperiod it was perfectly acceptable for white children to play with black children. In “SeparatePasts” McLaurin describes an event in which he had licked a needle that his black playmateBobo had already previously licked. Upon this realization McLaurin has...

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