Anti-Racism in Literature

An analysis of three books: “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, by Zora Neale Hurston; “Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin; and Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss and analyze three works: Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston; Sonny’s Blues”, by James Baldwin; and “Battle Royal”, by Ralph Ellison. Specifically the paper discusses the refusal to ignore and tolerate racism in these three pieces of 20th century writing. Each writer looks at racism differently, but each writer poignantly illustrates through their fiction that racism existed during the early 20th century, and African-Americans had to deal with it in their own unique ways. The writers refused to tolerate racism, and through their works, they urged others to do the same.
“Anti-racism is a strong and compelling theme throughout each of these 20th century works. Each work handles black characters differently, but the characters all experience racism, and deal with it as best they can. Hurston weaves the realities of black life in the South in the 1930s subtly through her book, from Mrs. ?. Who has an almost religious devotion to anything white, to the subtle reminders that these people may be free, but they are still certainly second-class citizens, “conveniences” as she calls them. “These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. . . . But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things.”