The Fire This Time - Part 1, “Cracking the Code” Summary & Analysis

Jesmyn Ward
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Summary

“Cracking the Code” is an essay written by Jesmyn Ward, the editor of The Fire This Time. In it, she describes how her father had silky black hair and skin the color of “milky tea.” When he went to an all-black high school in Oakland, he was asked if he was Samoan and was often mistaken for Latino. He was born in 1956 in Pass Christian, Mississippi. There, he was unmistakably black. He lived in a single-story house with four rooms. His house was dilapidated and demonstrated his poverty when compared to the mansions for white residents nearby. In the 1960s, being black in the South was precarious. Mississippi is known for its steadfast adherence to Jim Crow laws. Ward’s great-aunt Eunice is light enough to pass for white in other states, but in Mississippi, the one-drop rule applied. Eunice spends...

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This section contains 1,697 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Fire This Time Study Guide
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