Children of the Arch

November 1st, 2014

Children of the Arch

This creative response is in the form of a short book, largely mimicking the style of Naugib’s Children of the Alley. A theme in the book was the ongoing struggle for peace, and the author took special care to note that even the most extraordinary of prophets, each with unique ideas and opinions, were unable to cure the alley of its problems and return the region to peace. I wanted to explore this theme in America, both to understand how such problems can go unsolved for long periods of time, as well as to generalize the problem past one that can be blamed upon a regional society.

This book discusses various parts of a worldwide movement against racism, first discussing the life and effort of Booker T. Washington. Like Rifa’a, Washington was strongly against the use of force in the fight to bring equality for African Americans. Afraid of lynchings and the KKK, he believed that blacks in America first needed to prove their intelligence and reliability, and that this in turn would undermine the white’s stereotype of their inferior capabilities and allow them to assume political and social privileges. Washington’s efforts were largely contradicted by a movement against him calling for greater civil disobedience, but his work was valuable in calling attention to the problem. Though he failed to solve the issue, he played a role in the discussion of racism.

The next section discusses the twins Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr, Marovany and Mandolin, respectively. These leaders were alive during the same time and fought for the same goal, though they chose to do it in two different ways: One was violent, and one was peaceful. Their eventual unification on the side of civil disobedience and peaceful protest set incredible precedents for those who would follow them, and despite their early deaths, they made valuable social progress. The “solemn white buildings” of Congress were not moved completely, however, which is where the next character enters.

Nelson Mandela, whose story is transplanted into this same society as Nestor’s, is discussed as the leader with political tools, who used growing unrest and social opinion as a motivation for governmental change. He works to change the institutions that cause racism, and the world that results – though not perfect – is better.

This story was designed to show that the problem in Children of the Alley is a universal one: It should not be pinpointed on the customs of any one culture, nor confined to a nationality. Its problems transcends national borders, as shown in my story, although slowly, I believe that they can be overcome; hence, the hopeful ending of my edition, Children of the Arch.


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