'An eye for an eye' - Interethnic Confrontations in John A. William's 'Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light'
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, University of Bamberg (Professur für Amerikanische Literaturwissenschaft), course: Oberseminar Interethnic Confrontations as depicted in American Literatures, 9 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: f we justly consider the United States as a country of immigrants, it has been a place of cultural encounters and clashes ever since the first pilgrims got off the ships from Europe and met with the original inhabitants of the country, the Indian tribes (cf. Tindall: 12-28). Although the first immigrants to America were mostly English, there have been many cultural groups following their paths and building up their existence in the 'New World'. Germans, Dutch, Italians or Jews are just some of the many people who escaped from their home countries to start a new life in the United States. Their arrival in the new country often led to conflicts. If they were not physical then at least on a verbal basis did the immigrants face the mistrust and often even the hate of the American people. (cf. Tindall: 716-723) With the growing industrialization and the need for new, free labor, Africans were brought to the United States against their wills. Thereby, the problem of interethnic or interracial conflicts was even further complicated. Some consider this racist policy of 'importing' people for work purposes as the basis for American prosperity until today. The resulting discrimination of Blacks, however, remains a discussion topic even nowadays and is the source of many conflicts in American history, let alone the main reason for the last war that was fought on American territory - the Civil War in the 1860's (cf. Tindall: 487-492). One century later, during the 1960's, African-Americans were tired of their legal and personal oppression and started to demand the rights promised to them by the Proclamation Declaration but that had not really been practised in reality. The emergence of the Black Power movement, mainly by the Black Panthers, marked an important step in the Black people's emasculation from the chains of inequality. (cf. Tindall: 1160-1164). Nevertheless, segregation (the legal separation of Black and White) was still prevalent and not even in 2004 can we speak of equal opportunities for both races in the USA. With 'Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light', John A. Williams, an Afro-American author, tried to present an attempt of how to change circumstances for Blacks in America. His novel, first published in 1969 and envisioning America at the beginning of the 1970's, may not have had a lot of critical acclaim, but in my opinion is a valuable source for interpreting the multi-faceted interethnic encounters in the United States of the late 196o's.
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