Why does Mao hate the "five black categories" in The Red Scarf Girl?

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psyproffie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story Red Scarf Girl is about a girl growing up during the cultural revolution in China. A black family or black belief is any "old belief" that Chairman Mao protests against within the cultural revolution. Within this cultural revolution the main character Ji-Li must choose between her own future and the label her family has as a "black family" due to her grandfather being a landlord and the political views that he is labeled as having that go against Chairman Mao.

Chairman Mao is against what is considered the Four Olds (old customs, old beliefs, old habits and old customs) and the five black categories (political and social groups) due to the fact that he believed that these allowed a ruling class to have more power over the people and he was seeking to start a communist movement where he viewed that everyone would be equal.

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