The novel, Manchild In the Promised Land, by Claude Brown, fictionalizes his
life during the Civil Rights Movement. This novel explores the themes of racism,
poverty and the movement for blacks to gain respect as a demographic. While many of us
know the ins and outs of the ideals of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and The Black
Panthers. We’re unfamiliar with the life of the average people who wanted to fight to
gain respect but the process of just trying to stay alive hindered them from doing so.
Brown gives and insightful look into the less known world of what it was really like for
the average person growing up during the Civil Rights Movement.
Lastly, our documents about the Black Panther Party show that they believed in
ideals most similar to those of Malcolm X. The Black Panthers instated their Ten Point
Program that pointed out their demands in detail. The Black Panther Party wanted
freedom, respect and what seemed to be some type of compensation for the suffering they
endured. They wanted free health care, land, full employment and a host of other things.
Their beliefs were most similar to those of Malcolm X because they, too, wanted to be
placed on a pedestal.
In the novel, Sonny eventually returns home to Harlem as a young adult and in
the reading of this section we learned why he escaped. As mentioned his younger brother
fell victim to a life of crime and also his family members and friends fell victim to drug
addiction and overdose. All this is happening whilst the Civil Rights Movement is
blooming. Thus, in effort to save himself he had to remove himself from the situation.
But it is apparent that he wasn’t trying to be a part of the movement to gain respect as a
race because he was too enthralled in trying to survive in his youth. This living situation
was true for all too many black families growing up in this time.
As a character Sonny shows us that first of all, way to many people are struggling
to survive and that the support from the black community was not accessible because of
they were all blind sighted by the difficulties they needed to deal with in order to survive.
Second off all, as an older man he...