The Marrow of Tradition, by Charles W. Chesnutt Essay

843 Words 4 Pages
Throughout the history of the United States of America, the country has always been divided by race. No matter the century or decade, there has always been an issue present dealing with this problem in some shape or form. Though the value system of the United States has always been based on equal rights for all, there have always been those individuals that cannot except that all men are created equal. There is no supreme race. Everyone is entitled to his or her natural rights given at birth. Every person should have the same opportunity as the other as long as they are willing to work for what they receive. In Charles W. Chesnutt’s novel, The Marrow of Tradition, racial riots in the South are the key issue present in regards to racial …show more content…
The most conveying evidence is provided when Dr. Miller is asked to sit in the colored car once he passes the Virginia state line. Dr. Burnes defends his friend by saying, “And my friend has his rights to maintain” (p. 54). The other side to this ironic concept brings a completely different view. Once African Americans were freed as slaves, it was almost as if the people were more limited than when they were enslaved. This new-found freedom became a cause for violence because of the African Americans that were rising in the middle class. By no means was it as bad as slavery, but it still put a strain on the growth of the black community. This caused a great deal of conflict between white and black men.
Since the beginning of time, men have always been the head figure of society. It is instinctive within men to play a dominant role in society. This innate sense of masculinity caused the majority of the conflict in the race riots. The white men feared that the black men would rise higher than them, and they would have to be submissive. Because of this fear of submission, a sense of upheaval in the white male community arose. General Belmont provides evidence of this fear when speaking to Major Carteret:
…you'll be all the more interested in doing something to make this town fit to live in, which is what we came up to talk about. Things are in an awful condition! A negro justice of the peace has opened an

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