What are the similarities between the black community and white community in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Though the African American population of Maycomb is much poorer and considered second-class citizens by most of the white community, there are some similarities to be found. Jem and Scout are treated warmly by the congregation of First Purchase Church, just as they would be at their own place of worship. Reverend Sykes' message is not unusual--

     Jem and I had heard the same sermon Sunday after Sunday...  (Chapter 12)

--and Jem declares that Sykes is "just like our preacher." By the end of the service, Scout feels right at home in the Quarters, and she asks Calpurnia if she can come and visit at her own home some time.

Both the white and black folks of Maycomb are separate but tight-knit communities. The Negroes support Tom Robinson, both monetarily and in numbers at the trial, just as most of the white population supports the Ewells. Interestingly, the Ewells are somewhat similar to the people of the Quarters: The Ewell house is nearby, the family is equally poor, and their dirtiness from a lack of bathing leaves them with dark skin.

     All the little man on the witness stand had that made him any better than his nearest neighbors was, that if scrubbed with lye soap in very hot water, his skin was white.  (Chapter 17)

Although Jem has his own views on the social classes of Maycomb, Scout sees little difference in the people that live there. To her, there's "just one kind of folks. Folks."


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