Home to Harlem Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the racial atmosphere aboard Jake's ship?

The racial atmosphere aboard Jake's ship is tense. The Arab sailors are resented by Jake and his fellow American sailors for not keeping clean. All the fights are between mostly black and white American soldiers.

2. What events prompt Jake to desert the Army?

The events that prompt Jake to desert the Army are as follows. Jake is unhappy because he won't be fighting on the front lines, but working at the supply depot. When he goes on leave to the port of Le Havre and meets an English sailor, he decides to go with the English sailor's boat to London.

3. Why does Jake decide he needs to return to Harlem in the United States?

Jake decides he needs to return to Harlem in the United States because of racial tensions in England. In London, Jake gets a job as a dock worker and makes friends with white and black people in London's East End. Jake lives with a white woman, but things get ugly after the war is won. There is a huge fight between whites and blacks in the East End, and Jake's woman keeps him indoors for three days.

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