After reading three different articles, it was proven that race is still a major issue in the United States today. These articles include, Ginger Thompson’s (2000), “Reaping What Was Sown on the Old Plantation,” about an old slave plantation that was sold of into a National Park. “At the Slaughterhouse, Some Things Never Die,” by Charlie LeDuff (2000) talks about the racial segregation and discrimination found in a small town in North Carolina. The last article is about the racial segregation and separation found in a school, entitled, “Growing Up, Growing Apart,” by Tamar Lewin (2000). All these articles are tied together by some race issue that is still present in our country.
In a small town called Natchitaoces, Louisiana a woman by the name decided to sell her, slave owning families, land and make it into a national park (Thompson 20000). It was hard for Betty and the rest of the town to bring up that slavery was a major part of history in Natchitoches, until “the new ranger, a black woman named Carla Cowles, has begun scratching around the old slave cabin’s” (Thompson 2000:1). She began teaching tourists of the real happenings of the past and began making examples that would put the tourists’ in the shoes of a black slave on the Magnolia Plantation. Skit’s and plays were performed to reenact the past. Although the truth was being told, many black tourist who would visit Magnolia “looking for [their] own history…….felt cheated” (Thompson 2000:2). They would learn of how black workers lived mistreated lives only to help the white man make an extra buck.
In, “At a Slaughterhouse, Some Things Never Die” LeDuff (2000) tells the story about how racially segregated it is at a pork plant. “Whites, blacks, American Indians and Mexicans, they all have their separate stations” (LeDuff 2000:1). LeDuff explains how whites tend to have the cleanest and easiest jobs such as mechanics or supervisors, while Indians usually are doing warehouse work, which leaves blacks and Mexicans doing the dirtiest jobs at the factory (2000). The article goes to show how jobs are still divided from best to worst among race and ethnicity, instead of from skill level. Tar Heel, North Carolina, where the pork plant is located, is a town with a well made up racial mix of “40 percent Lumbee Indian, 35 percent white, and 25 percent black” (LeDuff 2000), but still holds too much racial tension.
“Growing Up, and Growing Apart,” by Tamar Lewin describes the “extraordinarily mixed South Orange-Maplewood [school] district” (Lewin 2000: 1). Within this article, there are three girls, each from a different ethnic background or race, who are best friends. They describe what they see in their school as far as separation goes between the blacks and whites. Lewin (2000) explains how these girls remember a time when “the playground was a picture postcard of racial harmony” (Lewin 2000:3), and now it is turned into a black and white separation. Lewin (2000) mainly describes that no matter if it is purpose or not, the black kids at this high school tend to stay with the black kids and the white kids tend to hang around with the white kids. It was peacefully known to these children that acting your race was extremely important
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