The racial oppression is a persistent concern in USA. Racial discrimination hurts people’s emotions, strips of their rights and twists their characters. American white people think African culture isn’t advanced. Since the 17th century, black people became indentured servants. This is a period of inhuman regression. After the civil war, the slavery was abolished. But the slaves don’t get many rights. Psychological impact of slaves has an effect on the slavery. Their painful life represses their memories and they just want to forget the horrible past.
As a black woman, Morrison deeply knew the difficulty of the Afro-American black people. Once she said
The black, just because of their different color of skin, they were treated as slaves in the past and as the symbol of poverty now. No matter what we dress and where we live, we are regarded as the lowest class of the society. The distinct characteristic is so profound. It is very hard to clear up the prejudice. So, things like that are not because of our black skin but of whether people can deduce who was slave in the past or who the lowest is class from the color of the skin. The racial rules are handed down. 1
Morrison’s mother was a leader in a choir and her father was good at telling legends and horrible stories, which made a foundation for her story. Morrison once worked in LD Study as an editor and participated in compiling The Black that reflected the black peoples’ three hundred years of hard fighting for equality and freedom, which provided her with the chance to collect a large number of historical materials about the black women’s life. The story of Beloved is from those historical materials, so most of all, the tragic life of Sethe is the tragedy of the history.
The story of Beloved happens between1830s and 1840s. In that society the black people suffered from physical hurts and psychological injuries. From their birth, they have not rights to choose their own lives. They were bought and sold as merchandises, worked as animals, raised as pigs. Then this course was repeated again and again.
White people believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift unnavigable waters swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood. The more colored people spent their strength trying to convince them how gentle they were, how clever and loving, how human, the more they used themselves up to persuade whites of something Negroes believed could not be questioned, the deeper and more tangled the jungle grew inside. The screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own.