A Kind of Freedom Themes & Motifs

Sexton, Margaret Wilkerson
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Racial Oppression

Through the depiction of three generations of an African-American family, the novel demonstrates how racial oppression persists throughout United States history, despite taking different forms over time. In the 1940s storyline, racial oppression manifests as a mixture of social racism and racial oppression that has been encoded into law. In this 1940s, African-Americans living in the southern United States live under the Jim Crow laws, which segregate racial minorities from the white majority and impose various legal obstacles on minorities’ success and overall wellbeing. One example of this appears as Evelyn and Renard are standing near a segregated public park and a police officer yells at them to leave, as African-Americans are not allowed inside the park. The narration then notes, “Something about brushing up against their limitations made [Evelyn] understand the sense of weakness [Renard had] been referencing earlier” (34). Another example of racial oppression...

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This section contains 2,289 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Kind of Freedom Study Guide
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