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Freedom's Main LineThe Journey of Reconciliation and the Freedom Rides$
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Derek Charles Catsam

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125114

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125114.001.0001

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From Bigger Thomas to Henry Thomas

(p.1) Prologue
Freedom's Main Line


University Press of Kentucky

Richard Wright's essay entitled “How Bigger Was Born” illustrates the various roles that the “Bigger Thomases” had in his life and how these served as the basis for the character seen in Native Son. Because Bigger faced various disputes because of his color which developed into fear, he killed the daughter of his employer. As such, he had to hide the evidence and hide himself. Although he was caught eventually and sentenced to death, his lawyer emphasized how Bigger was not the only one to blame as society had played no small part on the outcome of Bigger's deeds. Focus here is drawn to how the situation in the Deep South resulted in the Jim Crow streetcars that imposed seating segregation for the whites and blacks. This book draws attention to issues of racism especially in terms of transportation and how these have resulted in significant events in American history.

Keywords:   Richard Wright, Jim Crow, transportation, Bigger Thomas, Deep South

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