What are some examples of the theme race relations or racism in chapter twelve of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In chapter twelve, we read of Jem and Scout's visit to Calpurnia's church, First Purchase African M.E. Church. As they arrive, Not all welcome Jem and Scout warmly. One woman, Lula, objects strongly to Calpurnia for bringing white children to a black church. In fact, a confrontation begins among the two women. This shows that race is a sensitive topic. From Lula's point of view, a black church is for black people. It is not hard to see her point in view of the racism of Maycomb. Whatever our thoughts may be we can say that race is an issue for all. Here is what the text says:

Lula stopped, but she said, “You ain’t got no business bringin‘ white chillun here —they got their church, we got our’n. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?" Calpurnia said, “It’s the same God, ain’t it?”

In the end, Calpurnia and the children stay. As the service proceeds, Jem and Scout observe many things. Most importantly, they hear of the plight of Tom Robinson. The church is trying to raise money for his family on account of his impeding trial. From here on, the trial of Tom Robinson will take center stage in the book. This trial shows race relations. Could a black man accused by a white woman ever be declared innocent? This is the question.

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