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‘The black man brings his gifts,’ by W.E. Burghardt Du Bois is a short story, which tells us about a group of Americans who brought up an idea of identifying all the great things that the Americans had done. This was with the main purpose of re-uniting all the Americans after the war. This group of people decided to have a display of all the great things they possessed and people could come, see, and listen to them. They identified various things although they came to realize that the Negroes originally did most of them. They did not want to include Negroes although their chairperson saw the need to have them due to the work they had done for them. Among the things considered were Folk songs, Architecture, painting, shoes telephone, exploration, literature, and music.
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Discrimination of the black Americans is evident in this story. Although the chairperson of the committee points out that the colored people should be given some responsibilities, members do not want to dine with them. Another case of discrimination is seen when the chairperson wanted to introduce a colored woman who had graduated from the University of Chicago. The other members did not want to listen to her and Lee left the room before she got in. The chairperson in this committee, is seen to be against discrimination, he keeps on talking about the Negroes and the great work they had done, he even wanted to have some of them be included in the committee to represent their race.
The Author tries to bring in the position of the blacks in American society, the committee members are against a display of those items where the Negroes are included, when the colored lady was to address then when they were in their meeting, Lee for example, said ‘certainly-oh, certainly. Do not let me interfere. But of course, you will understand that we the lee’s must draw the line somewhere.’ This clearly shows that the Americans do not intermingle with the Negroes. Another incident is evidenced when one of them said that the Negroes should not eat with them.
As seen in the story, more than three quarters of what Americas believe to be their inventions, the original work was done by the colored people. Although the white people discovered some, the work force used to bring it out was from the Negroes. This has been considered the gifts brought by the black man. The committee members realize that they have little that they purely call their own but they do not want to give in to the fact that the Negroes have played a big role in their achievements.
Basing this on the American culture, there has been a ‘thick separation line’ between the blacks and the whites. The Americans have undermined the black people although they use them as their work force. This short story reflects the real life situation of the American culture concerning the Negroes. Throughout this work, there are two groups of people, although the Negroes have stayed in America for a very long time and had assisted the Americans in the war, they still do not have full right of belonging. This gives us a broader knowledge on the American’s attitude towards the blacks.
In conclusion, the author clearly brings out how the Negroes have built America. Most developments and pride of America is linked to the Negroes’ work. Ironically, the Americans still discriminate them, although not all they possess are a result of their sole hard work. In my own point of view, the Americans should change their attitude towards them and count them as a source of their success. All they have is a gift to them from the black man.