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Word Count: 1,363
The Environmental Shaping of a Common Black Man There was a line that separated the city of Chicago in the 1930s It was not shown on any map nor was it named on any street sign Yet it was known by all you stayed on your side of the line No one actively enforced this law but everyone obeyed The Black Belt an area of poverty and grief-stricken African Americans was isolated in a corner apart from the rest of Chicago Rarely if ever a man would cross over the line into the other part of the city Being an African American in these times provided many difficulties for Bigger Thomas the main character in Native Son a novel written by Richard Wright As a black man in a city of whites Bigger had lived his life with an animosity toward those around him This feeling of hatred was not an innate emotion but one inherited by years of life in an environment governed by a racist white supremacist society It was this feeling of spite that clouded Biggers judgement and created unfortunate situations in which the actions he committed are not a result of Biggers conscious thought but his environment Mr Thomas father of three died in a riot while Bigger the eldest child was still a young boy Biggers mother struggled to raise her three children on a very meager allowance from a relief organization With no person to support the family financially the Thomas had to rely on the relief for the source of all sustenance All his life Bigger had been hassled to support his family as he was the oldest male You going to take the job aint you Bigger 14 You know Bigger if you dont take that job the reliefll cut us off We wont have any food 16 With his familys livelihood in jeopardy Bigger is forced to accept a job offered by the relief
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