Twain’s outlook on African-Americans

Only Twain’s Opinion

In Ken Burn’s video about Mark Twain, Burns describes how Twain thought of Huck and Jim and how he created these characters. Specifically, he talks about African Americans in relation to Jim. Twain’s opinion of African-Americans was that they are just like white people and they deserve the respect that whites get. He even says that he meets an African-American man one day, and had great respect for him. This was very unusual for 18th century writers to emphasize, which exemplifies Twain’s morality and creative writing. Later on in the 1870s, Twain becomes best friends with a runaway slave, named John T. Louis.

Mark Twain and John Lewis

This picture illuminates the friendship Twain carries on with this runaway slave, John T. Lewis

When his family goes on vacation to Elmira, NY, Twain spends time with this runaway slave. They are inseparable. In addition, Twain’s wife was an abolitionist. Therefore, Twain is a different type of 18th century southerner, but he claims and wants to believe that he is not a southerner at all. John T. Louis, Twain’s black friend, stopped a runaway carriage. This shows his true colors and the person he is on the inside, not the person he is perceived to be by the color of his skin. He was a freeborn slave who lives in the south. In conclusion, Twain realizes how hard it would be to be separated from his family. As a result, he sympathizes for these black families who are separated, such as Marry Ann Cord’s family.


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1 Response to Twain’s outlook on African-Americans

  1. jselbst17 says:

    I thought your post was very interesting because it shows Twains sympathies towards black people which was not common during his time. It proves Twain was a very independent thinker, who liked to stray from the normality. I also think this helped Twain to become a successful writer. Since, he was different, he offered people a fresh outlook on life.

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