Wine in the Wilderness Essay

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Essential to the sustenance of a positive black national culture, Childress argues, is the possession of a guiding respectful Africentrism. The nurturing racial attitudes that Tommy embraces serve as the essential ingredients for the propagation of that culture. Unlike Bill and his bourgeois neighbors, Tommy responds to Oldtimer, her elder and a survivor of past black oppression, as an equal. Her caring acknowledgment of his identity as Edmond L. Matthews recovers his personhood and reclaims his rightful membership in the social framework from which the others have consistently excluded him.

Tommy does not assume she "knows" Oldtimer by reading his physical appearance as a sociopsychological text. She respectfully tells him, "I'll call you Oldtimer like the rest but I like to know who I'm meetin'." The others have narrowly defined Matthews by what he is, not by who he is, while the who of his identity, as Tommy...

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This section contains 722 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Wine in the Wilderness Study Guide
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Wine in the Wilderness from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.