The Race to the Bottom

The Race to the Bottom
Erik Campbell
ENG125: Introduction to Literature (ABG1241F)
Instructor: April MacGrotty
October 29, 2012

The Race to the Bottom
The topic of racial inequality is evident in the short story “Country Lovers” and the poem “What it’s like to be a Black Girl”. I believe that it was intent of the authors to show the differences between the white and black races. In both the short story and the poem, the main character is a black female which faces, to some degree, a level of discrimination based on their skin color.
Racism is a problem that our country has had since the days of Christopher Columbus. Racism was at its worst when the black communities of the United States were forced to be slaves to the white man. As time went on, and with thanks to President Abraham Lincoln, slavery was abolished, and blacks were “given” equal rights. Fast-forward to where we are now, and racial inequality is less of an issue. The stigma however, continues to cloud the black community of this country.
Being a racist in today’s society is not something that is widely advertised by most. This is similar to the character Paulus in the story “Country Lovers”. Paulus was the son of a rich white farmer who became involved with a black female laborer, Thebedi, which worked for his family. Thebedi and Paulus grew up together as children. The spent their spare time in the woods talking and playing with one another. Eventually, as time passed and the two grew older, curiosity got the better of Paulus and Thebedi and their innocent childhood relationship grew into something sexual.
It comes time in Paulus’s life to go off to school. He chooses to go to veterinary school a few towns over. Over the course of Paulus’s time in school he returned home at almost every chance he had to visit with his unforgotten love Thebedi. Despite the fact that both Thebedi and Paulus were older, it was still socially unacceptable to engage in an interracial relationship with one...