So many novels have been based on true perspectives and events. Should the history of our nation or world be “swept under the rug”? Hidden from the students who want to learn about the incredible events of the past?
With historical issues like the feminist movement, slavery and racism, much has occurred in our nation that our government often attempted to downplay. While the common tradition during most of history was the inferiority of women or African Americans, those traditions were often key points when making the final decision to release (or not release) a book publicly.
First, there is feminism and the fact that women finally gained the strength to stand up for themselves in society. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, 1937, contains much racist content, while focusing on a young woman who matures into into an independent lady, taking care of herself. During her first two marriages, Janie has been able to stand up against husbands who have treated her poorly throughout the years, fighting back for her independence and pride. Nine months after her second husband, dies, Janie marries young Tea Cake and runs off to the Everglades where they burst into elitist social circles. However Tea Cake’s death leaves questions unanswered upon her return to town years later. Janie tells her story to Pheoby, her best friend, who is greatly impressed by Janie’s experiences.
Considering racist issues in our national history, there is no reason that the honest representation of slavery, segregation or others to be banned from shelves. Beloved by Toni Morrison, 1987, is set after the American Civil War (1861–65). Inspired by the story of an African-American slave, Margaret Garner, who escaped slavery in 1856, found in The Black Book, a compilation of black history and culture that Morrison edited in 1974. Beloved begins in 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Sethe, a former slave, lives with her eighteen-year-old daughter Denver. Her two sons, Howard and Buglar, ran away eight years earlier. She believes it is because of an abusive ghost that haunted their house for years, to whom the introduction of the book is addressed. Morrison dedicates the book to “Sixty Million and more”, or to all who died as a result of the Atlantic slave trade.