University of Northern Iowa Dept. of English Language and Literature student writing award of excellence for critical essay, 2008
Racism in literature; Race in literature; Chesnutt, Charles W. (Charles Waddell), 1858-1932. Marrow of tradition; Justice in literature; Violence in literature
When studying American history, it is easy to dismiss racism as a thing of the past, something that we admit is still present but that we think must be better than it once was. Charles Chesnutt wrote The Marrow of Tradition over one hundred years ago, using the title itself to concentrate on how the very core of Southern Tradition is based on racism. Chesnutt would have been disappointed to see how far into the future this ideology extended, and that it would not be until the civil rights movement of the 1970’s that blacks and whites were granted equal treatment of the law. Even today, generations later, we still see the remains of racism.
Department of English Language and Literature
©2008 Audra Kremer
Kremer, Audra, "“By the stroke of a pen”: A brief look at writer’s representations of race, injustice, and violence" (2008). Student Writing Awards. 1.