Essay title: Your Blue’s Aint like Mine
First, the structural-functionalist approach allowed me to better view the Honorable Men of Hopewell and their extensive power in the Delta.
John J. Macionis defines this perspective as a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability (Macionis: 11).The Honorable Men of Hopewell are in charge of making all of the important economic decisions.â€œWeâ€™re deciding the future of this great state, and thatâ€™s your future too, son (Campbell: 108).â€This comment was said by Stonewall Pinochet, the leader of this powerful group of men.
Stonewall was one of the wealthiest men in the state of Mississippi and had a major reputation to uphold.He was the leader of the legacy.The Honorable Men of Hopewell were not voted in but merely selected because of their great-grandfatherâ€™s prestige.â€œAs was the custom, the mayor hadnâ€™t been invited to the meeting but would be apprised at a later time of any public policy decisions stemming from it, if it was deemed politic to do so.Mayor Renfro was merely one in a series of figurehead politicians; the real power of the region was gathered in this smoke-filled room (Campbell: 108).
â€This quote from the novel is an example of just how powerful these men were.They only involved the higher authority when they needed political consent.They manipulated relief benefits so that poor whites were often denied payments and pushed out of the county so that they could keep in blacks who would work for starvation rates; they manipulated higher property taxes for blacks and lower taxes for themselves which resulted in the black community virtually paying for the entire school system; the decision to not sell life insurance to blacks was made by these men; and finally they held in their hands the decision of what was to be done to the men responsible for Armstrong Toddâ€™s death (Campbell: 109).It is evident that the men belonging to the legacy of the Honorable Men of Hopewell were undoubtedly the most powerful body of all decisions made making them the power elite.
Secondly, the character of Mamie Cox portrays a woman who had a clear understanding of the social class and segregation, in the south, under the Jim Crow laws.Using the social-conflict approach, a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change, I analyzed Mamieâ€™s response to the changes she experienced throughout the novel (Macionis: 12).In Your Blues Ainâ€™t Like Mine, I clearly noticed how the segregation laws were instilled in her since birth and how she was effected when those laws began to crumble.The term DeJure is a Latin word meaning segregation by law.For those living in the south, such as Mamie Cox, this meant separate bathrooms, water fountains, and schools.Mamie, like Stonewall Pinochet, believed that there was a place for blacks, a place for whites, a place for men, a place for women, a place for the rich, and a place for the poor.However, although they had similar beliefs, Mamie could not help feeling bitter when it came to the wealthy families in the community.â€œThem Pinochets and Settleses and all them other fancy folks, they wonâ€™t let you rise above where you started form, not around here they wonâ€™t.If you canâ€™t trace your people back to General Lee, well, then, youâ€™re nothing, is what you are.I tell you, them rich folksâ€™ll side with a nigger before they side with us (Campbell: 178-9).â€This quote from the novel clearly illustrates the conflict between the rich and the poor.Mamieâ€™s views of the wealthy society allowed me to see that in her condition, she is practically an equal of the black community when it comes to power.However, she is resistant when it comes to thinking of ideas like that.â€œIn North Caâ€™lina them niggers is trying to eat at the Woolworthâ€™s with white folks.Sit-in, they call it.Lordy, Lordy.What is this world coming to?And they say that Kennedy is on their side.Heâ€™s gonâ€™ try to make them as good as us (Campbell: 237).â€.