Gertrude Samuels Statement & 1950s 60s Racial Discrimination Assignment

In Even More Crucial Than in the South, New York Times reporter Gertrude Samuels suggests that what African Americans were increasingly demanding in the late 1950s and early 1960s was not only an end to racial discrimination in housing, schooling, and employment, but also and above all “personal dignity” (1530), a point echoed in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s reference, in Letter from Birmingham Jail, to “the stinging darts of segregation” (1535). Drawing on these and other contextual excerpts in this chapter, as well as A Raisin in the Sun, write a mini essay (about 250 words) exploring what the play might contribute to our understanding of the psychological and emotional effects of racial discrimination. How does the latter seem to affect the way the characters perceive themselves and each other?

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