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Kara Beth Worley

Racial Issues in Eatonville

Throughout the United States in this time period, there were many problems concerning race going on. There was lots of segregation and discrimination towards black people. White people would verbally and sometimes even physically abuse African Americans just because of their skin color. Blacks and whites were required to use different restroom facilities, different eating rooms, and blacks had to sit at the back of buses. When Janie was younger, she lived on a plantation with Nannie and the slave owners. For a long period of time, Janie believed that she was white. She was treated well on the land so she couldn't tell the difference. Later on she realized that she was not the same. When Janie lived in Eatonville, the people there considered white people as some sort of royalty. Women thought it was better to marry someone with lighter skin. Some people in Eatonville however did not like white folks. They were either scared of them or did not like the way they were treated by them. Janie strongly believed that white people knew a lot more then she or any other colored human. When Janie and Tea Cake were in the Everglades and trying to decide if they should stay and wait for the hurricane or go ahead and leave, they decided to follow the white people and stay. When the whites were in Eatonville earlier, the blacks were basically slaves to the whites. When all of the white people left, the African Americans felt more human because they were no longer belittled or treated cruelly. Janie is also partially white so she must deal with the negative comments for both races. Her father was also a rapist so it may be a possibility she does not want to be with a white man for that exact reason. Personal situations can have a big impact on your future.


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