The Fire This Time Themes

Jesmyn Ward
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Repetition of History

Essays that include the theme of the repetition of history argue that for every period of black advancement, there is a corresponding backlash of white rage. Isabel Wilkerson calls each of these periods a “Nadir,” or a low point in history. After the Civil War, the former slaves ran for political office, started businesses, and educated themselves during the Reconstruction era. The corresponding backlash were the Black Codes, which later transformed into the more comprehensive Jim Crow laws. During this period of time, segregation, which was unequal and oppressive, was legal and pervasive. The next period of great advancement was when President Barack Obama was elected to office. African Americans make great strides under Obama, including having the most politicians in Congress since the Reconstruction era. The corresponding backlash included a string of violence against black bodies. During the early Jim Crow years, an African American...

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This section contains 1,696 words
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Buy The Fire This Time Study Guide
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