Summary

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 221

Colored People is an autobiographical account of author Professor Henry Louis Gates's life during the 1950s and 60s. It is divided into six sections, with the first section highlighting his upbringing in small-town Piedmont, West Virginia. In this town, black people did not have access to the wider job market and could only get jobs at a local paper mill.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Life in Piedmont consisted of a peaceful form of segregation until the Civil Rights movement changed the town over time. The second section details the dichotomy between human and racial issues. For example, the title, Colored People,references how Gates's extended family members, including the wider community, clung to the idea of being colored but saw no worth in their humanity. Moreover, many older black people during this time supported segregated institutions, which fostered tensions with the next generation, as young black people fought for integration.

Homework Help

Latest answer posted May 7, 2015, 6:38 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Gates participated in the Civil Rights Movement and challenged segregation in his social life. For instance, he coupled with a white woman and sought to integrate a local college hangout with the help of his friends. The final chapter covers the loss of the last colored mill and its ritual picnic. The black community within Piedmont saw this as a loss and blamed the Civil Rights Movement for ushering in a change they never wanted.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Next

Analysis