How does Little Scarlet show the things black Americans give to America in terms of song, toil, and cheer?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting question because I am not too sure that this is the main focus of the book. The central theme of this detective story is the way in which blacks must join together and be loyal to each other in order to successfully stand up against white dominance. We can see this through the loyalty of the scrupulous and dependable Easy to a character that in many ways is his polar opposite: Raymond Alexander, otherwise known as "Mouse," who is a infamous killed with a big reputation. If we look at the relationship between these two very different characters we can see that successful revolt and action in protest to white power is based on black unity as they group together to face the oppressor.

In terms of your question, however, we can definitely see a real slice of African American life in this novel. As regards toil, let us remember that the story is set in the 60s, where Easy, like many African Americans, are entering professional life and beginning to own their own property and land. They are beginning to see the fruit of their labours. At the same time, the novel gives us a sense of the rich culture of African Americans in terms of their spirit and music as well. The novel thus explores the way in which African Americans have contributed so much to American life through their culture and industrious nature.

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Little Scarlet

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