The Valpo Core Reader


Cindy Hayward

Document Type

Freshman Seminar Essay

Publication Date



In the late 1800's. slavery was abolished in the United States. but the persecution of blacks has continued until present time. Racism is a destructive force that confronts blacks almost every day. As stated in Parents in Contemporary America. "racism has not disappeared from the land and this problem in itself is massive." A young child's first experience with racism can be tragic, and it takes a strong and courageous parent to be able to deal with this subject in the correct manner and to aid his child in understanding the complexities of racism. In Ernest Gaines' story, "The Sky is Gray," James' mother Octavia knew how to do just this. She prepared her son and explained to him in her own way the role that racism and prejudice would have in his life as an adult.