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Group B -Edu.

A Lesson Before Dying/Ernest Gaines

Hanna May Dailey

on 3 December 2010

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Transcript of Group B -Edu.

Education: Then and Now This book gives us an
idea of what life was like
for the author, Ernest
Gaines.He grew up in
the 40's ands 50's in a nation
where education and rights
were poorly administered
to African Americans, all
because people refused to
see in gray, only black or
white. If an African American child was permitted to be educated by his or her family, many times the school they atteneded was also used as a church. Most students went to the school closest to the plantation their parents worked at. Anyone who has studied this time period, however, knows this was not the case. African American education was deemed MUCH less important and left them in a situation inexcapable, as Gaines describes in his novel. The slaves of the 1800s had no way of providing for their children after they were freed because they never recieved an education. Their kids growing up in the early 1900s were rarely permitted a sufficent education past the eighth grade. This is where we pick up with one of our main characters, Grant wiggins. He was a rare case who recevied a highschool and even college education, but was forced to return home to take care of sick or poor family members. The basis for this was from our author, Ernest Gaines, own life. Education plays a huge part in our lives. It can give us the oppurtunity to receive more education, it determins our careers, and how much money we make. Your amount of education greatly affects what happends to you through out life. During the times of slavery,
African Americans were not
allowed to be educated to
any degree. This was the
foundation of many things to
happen later after slaves were
freed Once the slaves were
freed, most African
Americans had the
oppurtunity to attend
school. In 1875 Jim
Crow laws were passed
segregating public
places. To make things
more "fair" however,
Plessy vs. Ferguson
"seperate but equal"
was established in the
hopes that all races
recieve a fair and equal
education Most children that did attend
school only did so for a few
months of the year. They had
to work in the fields of the
plantations they lived at to
help support them selves and
their families, since their
parents had no formal or possibly
any education. As we research this, we
wonder how awful it must
have been for the African
Americans during the 40s
and 50s. Fact is, it was the
norm for them. Their lives
had been like this for hundreds
of years. Many even considered
life better since they were no
longer slaves. They knew the
discrimination was wrong, but it
was expected during this time
period. The idea of things ever
being diffrent for them was like
a distant fantasy. Until a few
people decided to stand up for
themselves and their race Brave men and women like
Martin Luther King Jr.
and Rosa Parks stood up
for the rights of their
fellow African Americans
through out the Civil
Rights movement, which
lasted from around 1954
to 1968.In may of 1954
the supreme court ruled
unanimously that segreg-
ated schools for African
Americans violates the 14th
ammendment. The was the
spark to a wild fire of
protests, rallies, arrests,
and mob gatherings all for
or against the rights of
African Americans. One of the schools most
stubborn to integrate
was Central Highschool in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Nine African American
students volunteered to
attend Central as a sort of
expirament after segregation
was outlawed. On their first
attempt to enter the school,
they discovered the Arkansas
governor, Orval Faubus, had
called in the Arkansas National
guard to keep the students out. Not to mention the anti-integration mobs that had formed outside the school. On September 23, 1957 the
9 decided to attempt entering
the school again. President
Dewight Eisenhower had
called out over 1200 members
of the US army to protect
the kids through out their
The kids did get inside the
school and most continued their
education there. It was not easy.
Bullying African Americans was
not illegeal. The kids were tormented
and teased and were most African
Americans during this time period.
But, they were receiving and education
and could be blended in school with white
children. When asked how Gaines portrayed
education in his book for the
time period it was set, we think
he did a good and truthful job.
He described the school system as
a poor school in a racist state.
The teacher struggled to properly
educate all his students and the
students struggled to comprehend
all they were being told. He wrote
as if African Americans were treated
as another species by the white men
and women, and thats exactly the way
they were treated and what other
races thought of them.

http://www.neh.gov "I did not go to history books for truth. I went to history books for some facts that I wanted to have, but not truth because history and truth are different."

-Ernest Gaines A Lesson Before Dying is a
moving novel about a man
named Jefferson who is wrongly
sentenced to death for a crime
he did not commit, just because
he is African American. The book
ties in other characters such
as Grant Wiggins, Miss.Emma,
Tante Lou, and other family and
friends, who all continuly suffer
and live in a poor state of life,
just because of their skin color.
Full transcript