Racial Inequality From Both Sides

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In "The Street", how does the author, from the eyes of Lutie deal with racial inequality and steroetypes from both inside her own race and outside of her own race?

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2000


I think the author is trying to show us that it is there in everyones life. No matter whether you are black or white. Stereotyping knows no boundries. She isn't however trying to change anything she is just trying to make us aware of how we all do it and that no one race is better then the other.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2000

I have to disagree with Megan. All I could see in the first two chapters of The Street was racial prejudice against blacks. The constrasting lifestyles that Petry shows when describing Lutie's family before her time as a maid for the Chandler's illustrates those prejudices. Also her description of the tenemant shows how blacks were forced to live. I guess I can see how white people were sterotyped by some blacks as being happy just because they had more money. Lutie must have thought all whites were happy before her stay at the Chandlers, but she did find out otherwise. She discovered that money doesn't hold happiness within itself when she walks in on Mr. Chandler's wife kissing another man, and when Jonathan Chandler commits suicide in front of the family. Ultimately though, I think Petry is without a doubt showing how blacks were incredibly repressed in comparison to white people.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2000

Brent, You hit the nail on the head. There was and continues to be a inequality between the races, due in part to the government. In the 1940s through the 1960s, the federal government built the interstate system which allowed the white population to move to an area commonly referred to now as the suburbs, while at the same time influenced banking policies by insisting that blacks were poor credit risks and should not be granted loans. This practice still exists today in a practice called red-lining (denying loans to people who live in certain economically depressed areas). Also, with the addition of forced busing in the 1970s, we experienced a "white-flight" or mass exodus of whites who did not want their children to attend integrated schools or have them attend outlying school areas.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2000

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