As we were discussing examples within Home that relate to the topics in the course title, Sabrina B. and Adaeze brought up an interesting point to consider whilst reading Home. They pointed out that we should think about the overall message of the book and how it relates to the title of Home.
Adaeze elaborated that “home” is where we feel comfortable and gather with our family to come together, rest, and even have fun. I find it interesting that such a comforting term as “home” is used to summarize the overall topic of this book. It seems to represent a juxtaposition since Morrison even mentioned how Frank watched people who were kicked out of their own homes by “men with or without badges but always with guns” (page 9). This is yet another example of racism being present within the 1950s; no matter where African Americans were, they could not feel safe or be exempt from mistreatment. Although this is just my own theory, I feel that the direction this book is headed towards showing the readers that no matter where Frank goes, whether it be Georgia or anywhere else, he will only be able to find a home within himself. Wherever he goes, he will always experience racism as even expressed by fellow diners in Booker’s who heard Frank mention that he is heading to Georgia (page 28 and 29).
On the other hand, I also found it kind of amusing that in the last paragraph in chapter two, Morrison portrays Frank who “had coffee and flirted with the counter waitress” before leaving for the train to Georgia (page 37). Despite having been handcuffed against his will to a hospital bed and escaping from the brink of death into freezing cold, Frank continues to live his life as a grown man who enjoys caffeine and likes women. I feel that this is Morrison’s way of reminding us not to forget Frank’s humanity. From what we have read so far, I feel that it’s easy to simply feel bad for Frank due to the racism and injustice that he encounters, which is why I appreciate even more that Morrison such a description of his actions. It serves as a reminder to us as readers that despite the racism, African Americans still lived their lives on Earth as fellow human beings. Being discriminated against did not stop them from enjoying food and each other’s company. Another example of this is when Frank stops by Booker’s in order to get food and friendly service whilst stopping by Chicago for the night; he felt at ease due to the diner being “welcoming and high-spirited” and even described the environment as one of a “family in their own kitchen” (page 27). I believe this is an important fact not to forget since as people of the present who didn’t encounter such racism and injustices, it is easy for us to feel sympathy for those spoken about in the books that we read. I hope this serves as a reminder to us all that racism isn’t the only thing that African Americans lived with; they were able to enjoy their lives in their own ways too.