What is the role of the blacks in the story A Rose for Emily?  i need for my english lessen the role of the blacks

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

They really don't play much of a role at all.  The main black character in the story is Tobe, the one servant that Emily retains at the household after her father dies.  He alone remains to do her cooking and gardening, throughout the story, until she dies.  The townspeople are disdainful of this arrangement; first of all, he's a man, living in a house with a woman.  That is not "proper".  Secondly, he is a man doing the cooking and cleaning.  The townspeople just can't believe that a man would do a good job of that.  They gossip about him:

"'Just as if a man-any man-could keep a kitchen property,' the ladies said."

Later, after she dies, Tobe

"met the first of the ladies at the front door and let them in, with their hushed, sibilant voices and their quick, curious glances, and then disappeared.  He walked right through
the house and out the back and was not seen again."

So, Tobe is the main black character in the novel; blacks didn't play much of a role.  It was during a time period when blacks were still looked down upon, discriminated against, and held a subservient role in society.  Tobe represented that, through his service all of those years; but once Emily was gone, he bailed, leaving that life behind.  I hope that helps a bit; good luck.

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A Rose for Emily

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