A Soldier

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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A Soldier's Story clearly illustrated life during the midst of segregation. This film depicted the black man's constant and unfair struggle for equality, respect, and simply be treated like a human being. The film went to extreme measures to exhibit racism existing not only between opposite races, but also inside the black race.

A Soldier's Story directly helps the viewer to understand the complexities of race in the military over a half century ago. The film clearly demonstrated how racism in the military, played a significant role in the black soldiers' life. The black soldiers, as well as the entire black society during this time, had to make the white society feel superior. The black race/soldiers couldn't make the white race/society in anyway feel inferior. They had to obey all of the white man's orders, and "worship" all of his decisions, like he is a semi-god. The black man had to endure the constant insults that were continuously "shouted at him," by the whites.

If by chance, the black man made the white officer feel uneasy or uncomfortable, the white man was ready to engage in any possible action to place the black mans back in his proper place. The white man would either beat the black man down, arrest him, or just try to do anything to force the black man to realize he is below the whites. In other words, the proper place for blacks was anywhere, as long as it was below the superior white race. The film displayed the whites becoming full of anger to hear Sergeant Waters talk back to them while he was drunk on the bridge. The white officer even told the sergeant, "nigger you can't talk to me like that," and repeatedly hit the black Sergeant because he simply talked to the...