Middle Life Analysis: Arc Of Justice

2095 words - 9 pages

Middle Life Analysis; Arc of Justice
Rossy Sical
SWK 222
April 1, 2014

Middle Life Analysis; Arc of Justice
“American cities didn’t simply sparkle in the summer of 1925. They simmered with hatred, deeply divided as always” (Boyle, 2005, p. 6). Life was extremely difficult for African Americans during the early 1920s; a period of time that was better known as the segregation era. In the book Arc of Justice, written by Kevin Boyle, the words “racism” and “segregation” play a significant role. Boyle focuses in the story of Ossian Sweet, a young African American doctor who buys a house in a white neighborhood in Detroit back in 1925. After Dr. Sweet’s arrival to their new home, he and his family suddenly become threatened by a white mob that is formed against their arrival. Dr. Sweet and his family face racial discrimination. Later in the book, Boyle describes that Sweet accidentally killed one of the white neighbors who was threatening his family in self-defense. As a result Sweet gets arrested, faces police investigation and gets convicted of murder. One may argue that all people should be given the same rights in order to build a highly-treasured and unbiased nation; however, during the early 1920s white American citizens were not trying to build a united nation. Instead they were determined to suppress the rights of African Americans. This paper aims to describe the impact of racism, segregation, inequality and racially-motivated violence that obstructed Dr. Sweet’s ability to successfully navigate Erikson's seventh stage of development and the specific ways social workers and Christian values can contribute on a community level to improve developmental outcomes in the future.
In the book Arc of Justice there are several cultural structures that contributed with Dr. Sweet’s discontent actions, thoughts, violent behavior and decisions. Two of those main cultural structures are racism and segregation. “Segregation came in fits and starts, imposed by random acts of cruelty” (Boyle, 2005, p. 106). African Americans like Dr. Sweet had to confront issues of racism, segregation, tolerance and inequality; inequality that divided the nation’s greatest cities into separate and imbalanced places. African Americans were living in a particular period where the social structure was built upon the notion of white racial supremacy. Other factors that contributed with Dr. Sweet’s behavior, actions, thoughts and decisions were the class divisions between the American community, racially motivated violence and social disadvantage in big cities. Dr. Sweet started to shape bitter feelings towards the white society because of the negative way they would think and treat the African American community. The white community thought that “…black men were permanently “boys,” never worthy of white men’s respect, never their equals” (Boyle, 2005, p. 20). Here, Dr. Sweet is clearly expressing his frustration towards racism and his...

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