Review The Nickel Boys: A novel By Colson Whitehead

It takes a good heart and right knowledge to treat equally different races of different colors no matter that you stay in the same place. You have to be bold enough, and fearless to give your opinions and judgment to change the face of segregation and prejudice. Colson Whitehead is much intrigued with the history of America because it is full of rich, psychological events, learning theories of what happened, and what is happening. In The Nickel Boys, the author takes you back to 1960s where you would find yourself in a place found in California where blood-curdling events took place.

Whitehead is the voice of the voiceless, he expresses what has to be done, appreciates what the country has done and gives light of where you’re heading. It’s a fiction book with historical information which tells what had once been the environment. Thanks to the great voices and God-fearing Presidents who for over decades did change the shape of what America looks like today.

Contents of the novel

Whitehead takes the reader back in the 60s to Nickel Academy, a prison facility that actually existed for over a century in California. In real life, the place was used to punish the juveniles, so they behave well. Due to the lack of humanitarian acts, the facility was closed. The closure happened after a chamber got discovered of many bodies got shoved and buried without notification to the authorities nor family members of the incarcerated persons.

Colson, in the novel, joins you with a young black guy named Elwood Curtis who got alleged of theft. The allegations were so vague, having been found in the stolen car made the young guy send to save his term. Elwood was a bright kid who had plans of future but all got to no avail because he had to first survive the brutal challenges faced in the cells. Not only had there been harsh conditions of handling the inmates, murder was never a frightening experience to the people. Plans for the future would be forgotten and start to plan for heaven or hell. It was hell already inside because you had to work hard in the house of white members. Luck people were those who got assigned in the house work, and the hardest work came to those who got to work in fields.

Forget about the hope of getting out of there alive, Elwood’s only good company was found in a friend, Tuner. Turner helped this young guy to survive and avoid trouble at whatever cost. In defiance of how much they tried to stay from trouble, trouble seemed to find them and had to go under beatings and all kinds of abuse. Torture was part of the techniques used to reinforce the juveniles, and getting ill resulted in fast death because the medical care sent in by the state were sold by the overseers of the facility.

Lessons from the novel

The Nickel Academy was closed because it did not bring out the image of its existence, due to the inhuman acts and gruesome murders committed by the authorities over that facility. Racial segregation existed not until long ago, and it’s somethings which the authorities have to take care of. It teaches knowledge to every man of different color to stay in harmony and practise of equality to every human being. Nickel Boys shows the repercussions of doing the worst behaviors towards the idea of racism. President Barack Obama had also stated that it’s a necessary read so that people could get to know and change their mind towards how you view each other.

There is great history, history that needs to be understood more deeply so you change your mind, promote equality and promote humanity. Violence, oppression, suffering and injustice faced by Turner and Curtis including other Americans should continue to be stopped and checked in places where they existed. There is a need to keep on checking the civil rights, and protection of today’s youth in facilities around the world where people are mixed of different ancestry.

Read the book it arouses your empathy and sense of need to cooperate in keeping on changing the face of how others are treated. You get insight on how to treat the next person to you. The novel teaches people how to avoid trouble at all cost so that you would not end up in the worst places in your life that could leave you a changed person for the whole part of your life.

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