Blacks and Whites in America The Alternative Beats of the Same Heart

61500 California in that era remained engulfed in race perceptions. In the book If He Hollers Let Him Go Chester Himes reflects the ceaseless struggle of the black race, and their valiant efforts to establish a rightful place in mainstream of American political, economic and social life. Bob Jones, the black character in the novel, struggles relentlessly to maintain his essential dignity amidst the hostile circumstances he is placed in and firmly believes that he is as brilliant as any white man could be in his position, whereas for Madge Perkins her inner world is seething with anger and resentment against the blacks for no particular reason. Bob Jones is an intellectual who constantly reflects the choices available to him amidst a host of hostile life situations that confront the black race in America. He is not married and his age is estimated to between 30-35. He is challenged by adverse comments relating to his race at every turn of his day to day activities, especially in interactions with his colleagues. The author writes that Jones awakes each day in fear, and lives steeped in fear. "It came along with consciousness. It came into my head first, somewhere back of my closed eyes, moved slowly underneath my skull to the base of my brain, cold and hollow. It seeped down my spine, into my arms, spread through my groin with almost sexual torture, settled in my stomach like butterfly wings. For a moment I felt torn all loose inside, shriveled, paralyzed, as if after a while I have to get up and die." He is the only foreman in a shipyard during World War II but he is not getting the respect that he is expected for his authority in the organization and the white subordinate staff, white men and women, are not willing to obey his instructions with implicit obedience. His actual authority is thus ineffective. His life was like being lodged in an open-air prison, not with physical but mental torture.