The Help

Devastation Through Segregation 10th Grade

Devastation through Segregation

Did you know that the state of Mississippi did not officially abolish slavery until February 7th, 2013? Although slaves have not worked the fields of Mississippi since the Civil War ended, evidence of racial prejudice has far from disappeared. On a recent trip to Greenwood, Mississippi, Nikole Hannah-Jones witnesses this ongoing prejudice and writes: “the Delta can be devastating.” This devastation is addressed by two novels: Kathryn Stockett’s The Help and James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Set in Jackson, Mississippi, The Help, is about the life of African-American maids working for white families. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man tells the story of a half-black man who is torn between fitting into white society and showing pride in his African heritage. In each novel, the authors prove to the reader that “the Delta can be devastating” through the tales of their minor characters.

First and foremost, the Delta is devastating for Yule May, a black maid working for Hilly Holbrook. Yule May is just seventy-five dollars short of sending both of her sons to college, but Hilly refuses to lend her the money. She is stuck because as a mother, she loves both of her sons...

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