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Toni Cade Bambara gives a number of clues as to the period of her short story “The War of the Wall.” In the story, the reader learns about a young man from the neighborhood who did not return from the Vietnam War. The author includes references to integration in the south, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. When the community looks at the mural, the young man nicknamed Side Pocket walks up to the wall and notices the liberation flags.
“Notice,” Side Pocket said, stepping close to the wall with his cue stick like a classroom pointer, “These are the flags of liberation,” he said in a voice I’d never heard him use before.
The mural painter included the liberation flags of Angola, Mozambique, Ghana, and Guinea-Bissau. These countries were involved in Civil Wars that lead to their liberation in mid-1970’s. This gives the reader a frame of reference for the time frame of the story.
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