One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia – Log #3

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One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia – Log #3

Log #3 – Setting

The setting in Rita Williams Garcia’s One Crazy Summer assumes an essential role in the development of the narrative from an African-American perspective. From the onset, it is evidenced that the setting does not satisfy the girls’ initial thoughts. While moving to Oakland, the girls thought that they would receive the opportunity to visit exquisite places such as Disneyland and Hollywood. Even though they were aware that Oakland was based in California, they soon understand that their status as African Americans does not encourage any movement towards such areas designated largely for the white majority. Instead, the setting that the characters inhabit is comprised of slums that are based in the respective city, which illustrate the extent to which issues such as racial segregation and discrimination imposed an effect on the lives of African Americans during the late 1960s.

Aside from the effects of the story, the setting also manages to provide information and knowledge surrounding the period in question in respect to the daily experiences faced by Vonetta, Fern, and Delphine. Accordingly, the characters in question are affected by the issues that plagued the time, which include the denial of rights and privileges. This assertion is supported further by the occurrence of the Civil Rights Movement via groups such as the Black Panther Movement and the efforts implemented by Malcolm X. In the narrative, the issues in question are illustrated by Delphine when she converses about the way the protests at the time were focused on disrupting the ‘Establishment,’ which presumably comprised the white majority that was responsible for the implementation of structures that dominated American society during the period in question. Essentially, the setting manages to draw understanding towards the situation occurring at the time.

The setting interestingly shows the struggles that minority groups – aside from African Americans – were undergoing as an outcome of the policies implemented by the elite concerning discrimination and racial segregation. While African Americans were predominantly involved in the protests at the time, the setting also depicts the extent to which groups such as Asians were affected by the Establishment’s policies. A good illustration of this involves the conversations between Delphine and Hirohito who seem to interact well with one another as an outcome of their statuses as ‘coloreds.’ Additionally, the setting manages to illustrate the issues that affected the groups in question as far as racial identity was concerned. Delphine manages to depict this attribute by asking Hirohito about the identity that he is mostly inclined to due to his status as a minority and a Chinese.

Conclusively, the setting in One Crazy Summer is representative of the struggles that African Americans underwent during the era of the 1960s. The period in question was signified by the occurrence of the Civil Rights Movement, which was led by leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X. Additionally, groups such as the Black Panther Movement were largely involved in the struggle albeit through violent political means that were exemplified in the book by characters such as Cecile (or Nzila). Undoubtedly, the setting manages to develop the characters in question by integrating the political intensity exhibited during the period in question and the implementation of characters such as Delphine that possess a rather complex understanding of racial relations despite being bred under conditions that favored a unanimous disposition against the Establishment. Essentially, the setting plays an imperative role in the narrative’s development.

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