No Freedom for the colored 1950s

Within the context of the film, Far from Heaven, Raymond Deagan was a african amiercan single parent living in a southern Connecticut town where African and Caucasian races rarely intermingle outside of business. When he tried to befriend Cathy Whitaker every other person in town disagreed with them being friends. He had absolutely no freedom to even pick and choose who he would want in his life because it was not socially accepted during this period in time due to segregation. When Raymond tried to become more then friends with Cathy just grabbing on to her arm prompted everyone on the street to threaten him due to their class differences. His daughter was abused and even stoned just over the fact that her father had a white “girlfriend” which was not even true. Towards the end of the film when Cathy had chosen to divorce her husband she went to find Raymond and asked if they could be together in another location, however Raymond replied with a controversial quote “I”ve learned my lesson about mixing the two worlds” which really was the summing up of what the entire movie was about. Raymond didn’t have the freedom to choose which world he wished to live in, he was instantly viewed with hostility due to the color of his skin, not the character he could have. I feel that Raymond was the person with the least freedom because he had to leave the woman he grew to love so that his daughter wouldn’t have to suffer anymore indignities that could occur because of her father’s relationship.

shame of slavery

Fredrick Douglass once said during his Independence Day address

“What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. ‘To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass- fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival… .”

I believe this long speech shows one of Zinn’s views that not only was the south guilty for the crime of slavery, but the nation as a whole for even allowing it to happen in the first place. This plays well with Zinn’s idea because Fredrick Douglass not only stated some of Zinn’s ideas but also the fact that he even dared speak up in that specific time period that could provoke violence towards him. This might also show Fredrick’s strong beliefs that all individuals deserve to be treated equality despite the color of his skin. While Fredrick Douglass didn’t win his attempt to become the vice president of the united states he is still a great visionary for human rights and his views coincided with Zinn’s fairly well. This not only shows Fredrick’s character and his firm belief in freedom but also his desire to speak his mind despite what others might think and react towards him. Zinn’s writings can be provocative at times and so this mixes very well with Fredrick’s own personal views considering he is an African American slave who fled the life of ¬†slavery he understood very well the horrors the nation choose to over look at times that he could not tolerate which is why he dedicated his entire life to trying to gain equality for all people.