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The Learning Tree

The Learning Tree The oppressed African American world felt possibly, it’s deepest persecution in the Southern States of America. These people were both pressured and denied rights as human beings. They were told that they would amount to nothing. That they would end up in the lowest form of work, such as cooks, waiters, janitors, or perhaps bellhops. Some of these people had the most brilliant minds of the time, but were not allowed to exercise their ability as people and free thinkers because their skin happened to be of a “dirty” color. The book The Learning Tree, by Gordon Parks perfectly displays the emotions of a young, black boy, working his way through a world that tyrannized him because he was not white. His education is suppressed, and his young mind, which is obviously displayed as brilliant in the story, is not going to get him anywhere because during this time, nothing got you anywhere but the color of your skin. When Marcus, an obviously troubled young man, helps the boys steal peaches, he takes things a little too far when he turns around and beats the farmer, coming very close to killing him. Without even a moment’s notice he is sent to a detention facility where he is again chastised for being black. This detention facility only makes things worse on Marcus, who “has it in” for Newt because Newt told the truth to save himself and the other three boys who stole peaches. The boys of course, were forced by Newt’s mother, Sarah, to apologize to the farmer that was hurt. It is Sarah that perhaps holds the story together, and it is at her death that everything falls apart. It is in the school system that you see the most segregation within the book. It starts when the school board decides to hold all the black students back in the 8th grade instead of letting them go on to high school because of over crowding in the high school. Of course, for the black community this is an outrage. The parents s...

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The Learning Tree. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:00, September 03, 2014, from