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When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky


A deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist ...
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Discuss how the book creates a dialogue about racism and segregation in America.

Created: 10/18/21

Replies: 8

Posted Oct. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

Discuss how the book creates a dialogue about racism and segregation in America.

Discuss how the book creates a dialogue about racism and segregation in America.

Two admits that she has been treated with prejudice both on the road and on the ranch. Where do we also find instances of this during her time at Glendale? How does racism influence the way that Two interacts with other people, such as her friend Hank Crawford? How is Crawford impacted by the segregation of 1920s Nashville? How does his status as a member of a landowning Black family affect this?

When Crawford shares the news that his cousin has been beaten, how does Two respond to the news? How does she relate to Crawford's experiences with racism and segregation, and where do their experiences diverge?


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jazzming

Join Date: 03/19/21

Posts: 28

RE: Discuss how the book creates a ...

I thought the scene where she was discussing needing to ride in the train and had to go into a separate space that wasn’t for blacks but not for whites either. That she had a bit of fame as the talent among her peers but also still not treated equally.


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janines

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 46

RE: Discuss how the book creates a ...

In The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, Cussie’s skin color is blue which automatically in America makes your”colored” in that book’s time period which is fairly close to the period in which this book takes place. Two Feathers isn’t the right color so she’s relegated to an “other” class. At the boarding house her land lady, Helen, is weary of her in the beginning (but comes to see her as a “person” later, when taking transportation she has to move to the “colored” section. Crawford’s story is interesting because he comes from an established and rather prominent black family - which means nothing in white society views. In addition, to the prejudice he has to experience in white society He has to deal with the prejudice within his own black community in courting Bonita. It seems to me though that Two has an easier time in white society.


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottm

Join Date: 05/06/21

Posts: 2

RE: Discuss how the book creates a ...

The themes of racism and segregation play out with two of the key characters with Two Feathers (Cherokee) and Crawford (African-American). With Crawford, he is seen as one who takes the lower-level jobs and while rewarded for that work, he is never really seen as one of the "best" people, or one of those who will move up in society or life.

With Two Feathers, she is more an object of curiosity and fascination to others. Her skills with horse diving bring the crowds in and the attention, but she is mainly characterized by the audience as exotic. Not really like a "normal" human, but a unique creature.

This can parallel the treatment of the respective races/ethnic groups. African-Americans occupied the lowest tier in the American "Caste" system and that is borne out in this book. Whereas the Cherokee/other Native American ethnic groups are still seen as beneath the "White" race, but they are treated differently, as those who are not as low as African-Americans, and they have the potential to be better contributors to "American" society.


Posted Oct. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 45

RE: Discuss how the book creates a ...

I thought it was fascinating that Two was viewed as being between races and not fitting into any particular category.


Posted Oct. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 47

RE: Discuss how the book creates a ...

Of course there were many references to the different treatment of the races, but I thought one of the most interesting plot details involved the two hospitals in town and the discussion on where to take Two Feathers. Mr. Shackleford's wife had to remind him about Will Rogers to make him rethink his automatic decision to send her to the "colored" hospital. I don't believe it crossed his mind that the treatment there might be inferior.


Posted Oct. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 145

RE: Discuss how the book creates a ...

I really like Janines' mentioning The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and Cussie's skin color since being blue set her apart. It is easy to be prejudiced against someone who doesn't look exactly like the dominant race/color.


Posted Nov. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 125

RE: Discuss how the book creates a ...

There are so very many explicit and implicit examples of racism and segregation in the book. Verble does a masterful job of weaving them into the story in such a way that they seem organic. Whether it’s Hank not being able to ride in the cart with True, have physical contact with her if she starts to fall, or Christa Belle’s blatant racism the book is full of societal parameters and judgements. The discussion about what hospital to take True to, if Crawford can enter that hospital, the quality of care in one versus the other and Shackleford’s view of the superiority of the white race, are just a few examples that provide a glimpse of the societal and cultural depth of racism and segregation prevalent in the book. I agree with Scottm and his response.


Posted Nov. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 406

RE: Discuss how the book creates a ...

Ms Verble creates a great dialogue about racism and segregation by placing all these characters of different races and belief in on small area of the park. They are probably seeing each other and getting a sense of each other by living and interacting on a daily basis. I loved the scene explaining how Helen and Two were first together. Where and how could she give an Indian a room, and at the end they developed a warm and caring feeling for each other. I think this was true with each characters, as they learned about the other, a slow respect developed. Yet Verble had to remain true to the times and to the laws that exists. Crawford wanted to reach out and help Two if she fell, but the law said he could be killed if he touched her.
There is so much in this excellent book, even the religious differences are discussed, the belief in afterlife and spirits was beautifully handled.


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