I would respond to this story by saying it shows the evils of racism. The narrator is a high school graduate who has won a scholarship to a state college for blacks. He is invited, along with other honored black youth, to an awards banquet in the ballroom of a leading hotel by the leading white men of the town.
When he and the other young black men arrive, they realize that no honor goes without a humiliation if you are black in this society. The boys cannot simply be given their awards or scholarships, but must first be degraded and put in their places as blacks in a white-dominated community. They are forced to fight blindfolded for the amusement of the town's leading white men. They then have to grab for gold coins, which in reality are useless brass tokens, on a floor that has been electrified, while the audience laughs at their pain. They are called "boy," and ordered around.
The narrator, despite his grandfather warning him on his deathbed that whites are the enemy, is still proud and overwhelmed to have gotten the scholarship. However, the seeds have been planted in his mind to distrust whites as people who are not on his side. We, as readers, are upset and anguished that these young men have to undergo humiliation.