Race and Racism
The issue of race and racism is central to the story. Twyla’s first response to rooming with Roberta at St. Bonny’s is to feel sick to her stomach. ‘‘It was one thing to be taken out of your own bed early in the morning—it was something else to be stuck in a strange place with a girl from a whole other race.’’ Throughout the story Twyla and Roberta’s friendship is inhibited by this sense of an uncrossable racial divide, played out against the background of national racial tensions such as the busing crisis. Racial conflicts provide the main...
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