Racism in fiction

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For quotes about real-world racism, see Racism.

Racism is the belief or ideology that humans can be divided based on unequal races. Racism is prevalent in eminent works of fiction, such as in the work of Charles Dickens. These occurrences of racism can document beliefs of the author, or can document beliefs of the society or culture to which the author belongs, or in which the work is set.

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  • The two Indians crossed the plantation toward the slave quarters. ... "Man was not made to sweat." "That's so. See what it has done to their flesh." "Yes. Black. It has a bitter taste, too." "You have eaten of it?" "Once." ... Doom began to acquire more slaves and to cultivate some of his land, as the white people did. But he never had enough for them to do. In utter idleness the majority of them led lives transplanted whole out of African jungles ... there was a hierarchy of cousins and uncles who ruled the clan and who finally gathered in squatting conclave over the Negro question, squatting profoundly ... "We cannot eat them," one said. "Why not?" "There are too many of them." "That's true," a third said. "Once we started, we should have to eat them all. And that much flesh diet is not good for man." ... "It means work," the third said. "Let the Negroes do it," the first said. ... "Yao. Let the Negroes do it. They appear to like sweating."


  • And why couldn't he have a voice too? asked Freddy Malins sharply. Is it because he's only a black? Nobody answered this question and Mary Jane led the table back to the legitimate opera.


  • The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it — whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.
  • The three men looked at the murderer, thinking their own thoughts, speculative, frowning, but not as if he were important now. No, he was unimportant: he was the constant, the black man who will thieve, rape, murder, if given half a chance. ... "I work hard enough, don't I? All day I am down on the lands with these lazy black savages, fighting them to get some work out of them. ... Above all, she hated the way they suckled their babies, with their breasts hanging down for everyone to see; there was something in their calm satisfied maternity that made her blood boil. "Their babies hanging on them like leeches," she said to herself shuddering, for she thought with horror of suckling a child. The idea of a child's lips on her breasts made her feel quite sick; at the thought of it she would involuntarily clasp her hands over her breasts, as if protecting them from a violation. And since so many white women are like her, turning with relief to the bottle, she was in good company, and did not think of herself, but rather of these black women, as strange; they were alien and primitive creatures with ugly desires she could not bear to think about. ... the touch of this black man's hand on her shoulder filled her with nausea; she had never, not once in her whole life, touched the flesh of a native.

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