During the period in time covered in Arc of Justice the Great Migration is in full swing. Myriads of blacks are leaving the South and Jim Crow in search of work and opportunity. The story begins in 1925 Detroit, when Dry. Asian Sweet attempts to move his family out of the ghetto into a bungalow located in an all white, working- class neighborhood. Suspecting that his neighbors would not take kindly to his arrival Sweet brings nine men and arsenal of guns with him.
When the mob does indeed form outside the bungalow, and the police do nothing to deter their violence, Sweetest monger brother Henry fires into the crowd killing one man and injuring another. The eleven black adults in the home including Sweetest wife, were then taken to Jail and charged with first-degree murder. After relaying this climactic event in chapter one Bayle seeks to explain what convinced Sweet to take such bold action.
In order to achieve this end he looks into Sweetest past for answers, shifting the narrative back a couple of generations to show not only how white oppression had affected his family, but also how they fought back against it. Reams Devalued, Sweetest grandfather, was a young teenager when freedom came. With it came missionaries from the North preaching a message of racial uplift for freed slaves and he and his brothers “were swept up in the Name’s crusade (Bayle 52). ” The African Methodist Episcopal Church’s message was indeed empowering to blacks.
Through hard work, frugality, and virtuousness blacks could and would demonstrate their equality– and maybe even their superiority– to whites (Bayle 51) One can clearly see that Asian Sweetest NAME background had an effect on him. It retainer informed his decision to buy that particular bungalow. All throughout his childhood he heard the message of racial uplift, and he must have taken it to heart. According to Methodist’s founder John Wesley “religion must necessarily produce industry and frugality…. ND these cannot but produce riches (Bayle 50). ” Rheum’s daughter Dora found a very suitable husband for a woman of Methodist faith “[Henry Sweet] had the businessman’s drive, an entrepreneurial spirit, fueled by a strong sense of pride and tempered by dedication to fair dealing (Bayle 59). ” By 1898, Henry eaves enough money to buy land, a great accomplishment indeed. Growing up in Barrow, Florida Asian experienced racial discrimination at its finest.
Between 1901 and 1909 three blacks were lynched and three others were burned alive in the small town (Bayle 68). At the end of the monograph, during the trial, Sweet tells the court the Jarring story of the immolation of Fred Rockwell indicating the profound effect it had on him as a child. The Sweetest always knew their family had to do better than Barrow. Though the family had struggled for two generations to make it as far as they ad “it wasn’t enough, not in this place [Barrow] (Bayle 69). Asian was the oldest of the Sweet children and he carried the burden “to blaze the trail for the rest (Bayle 63). ” So after he completes the eighth grade Sweetest parents send away him to Ohio to study at Wildflower. He was only thirteen. This gives us a profound sense of how important education is to the NAME faith. At Wildflower Sweet pays for his education by earning a scholarship and working on campus: the Name’s ideals of the hard work Arc of Justice By scooper 4