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Example research essay topic: Mini Van Thirty Minutes - 1,508 words

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... reason why he left Alabama. A man named Floyd Walton originally owned the land he inherited. He allowed our family to sharecrop on the land after the civil war. Our family roots traced back to Alabama. My ancestors were his slaves.

That's where we got the last name Walton. My grandfather was given the name Floyd just like the master. Grandpa told me horror stories of mob violence and public humiliations. He even described in graphic detail a gruesome lynching. These are things that he personally witnessed while living in Alabama. He said that he was constantly scared for his life.

He said that he had never felt like less of a man. This is the real reason why he left and he vowed never to go back. Aunt Florence and grandma knew all of this but they wanted to go anyway. I think that they may have been in denial about the racial situation in the south. Whatever it was, nothing was going to change their minds they were just as stubborn as grandpa. Besides that all of us kids wanted to go too.

Papa was outnumbered and he knew it. It was final we packed the mini-van up and headed for Alabama without another thought. At the time I felt that grandpa was being unreasonable. If I had known how serious this race issue really was I probably would have stayed home. Anyway it was too late for all of that now.

We had just crossed the state boarder and we had to stop somewhere. We had to stop and let Brenda relieve her. Remy would not stop whining about stopping at McDonalds. I wanted to stretch my legs and I had to go to the bathroom too. It was about ninety degrees in the shade that day. My mouth was as dry as one of my teacher's history lectures.

I wanted ice-cold lemonade. Grandma and Sam wanted to stop and eat too. Everybody was too impatient to look for a Mc Donald's so we stopped at the first place we saw. This place wasn't worthy of the title restaurant.

It was shabby and it was barely sanitary from where I was standing. It sat on a dirt lot right off of the highway. I really didn't care because I was glad to finally get out of that stuffy mini-van. The place was packed it seemed to be a popular spot. I could smell T-bone steak and barbecue ribs it smelled so good that it made my mouth water, I was ready to eat. I was really in a good mood now.

As we piled out of the van I could notice that people were staring at us funny. I felt as though their gazes would burn a hole through my chest. There were two guys who were talking about us. I was trying not to pay too much attention to them but I heard one of the men say "Damn where did them niggers come from cause they sure ain't from round here" Those feelings of excitement and anticipation quickly wore off. We kept on walking toward the diner anyway. I felt that this was probably the longest walk that I had ever taken through a parking lot.

We stayed close to each other and walked at a slow, unsure pace. The dust seemed to settle in the air with every step we took. It was at that moment that I had begun to feel like a "minority." The only black faces in that parking lot were our own. We were defiantly outnumbered and I could tell that these people did not want us around.

I felt as if I was alone in a world filled with people who hated me just because of the color of my skin. Reality set in like the impact of a speeding car against a brick wall. Everything that grandpa had said was true! We had not been in Alabama for any more than twenty minutes and we had already been called niggers. I was shocked at the nerve of these people.

What ever happened to southern hospitality? I could not believe what I was hearing. A little boy who must not have been any older than twelve kept repeating over and over "Go away niggers!"Go away niggers!" I felt like I was in the "Twilight Zone" This couldn't really be happening to me! We finally got to the door. It was too late to turn back now.

We were at the point of no return. I mean how would we have looked if we had turned around and ran for the mini-van and pulled off? When we stepped through the door it was like walking into a country western movie. We were the bad guys who did not belong in the saloon. In the movie the bad guy always wore black.

In This situation we were covered in natural blackness. I like to call it my permanent tan. Just like in the movie the bad guys walk through the door and everyone stops what they are doing just to look at them. I swear that every person in that diner stopped what he or she was doing to look at us.

Even the cook and a few dishwashers came from the back of the restaurant to see what was going on. I can remember that my hunger had suddenly disappeared. I was getting a stomachache and I was ready to vomit. Any way we decided to take a seat and get some food. We sat in a booth next to a family of four. As soon as we took a seat these people got up from their seats in disgust and left their food at the table.

We must have sat there in that booth for about twenty five to thirty minutes before a waitress would even approach our table. While we were waiting for service I could hear people whispering and talking about us. The waitress who came over to our table was very rude to us. She was fat and ugly just like a pig. She felt that we were not good enough for, "Hello what can I get for you, sorry for that long wait." Instead the lady said to us in the rudest way possible, " You niggers got to go, we don't serve niggers here. " She snorted when she talked just like a pig. I was still in shock.

I wondered how someone that ugly could talk negatively to anyone. I just wanted to leave and find a place to cry or something. I probably have never felt as low as I did sitting there in the middle of that diner. Aunt Florence wasn't about to put up with any more of the disrespect. She flew off the handle and she was steaming mad.

She said to the woman "We have been sitting here for thirty minutes while you passed us up to serve people who came in after us. Where is the manager I want to see the fucking manager. " A guy, who was sitting at a table from across the room said, "Bob don't want to talk to no nigger" Auntie told the man to shove it. I never heard her curse before I could not believe what was going on. She got up from the booth and got in the waitress's face. Grandma was saying to her that she thought that we should go. Auntie was too mad to listen to reason.

She was a stubborn as a mule and she was not going to budge until we got service. Bob the manager threatened to call the police on us. He was a fat little bald headed man with bad teeth. His face was red and he seemed quite pissed to see us still there. He said, " I thought Mary already asked you niggers to go, we don't want you hear. " You can't tell anyone to leave. All you can do is take my fucking order!

Then she turned to me and said, "Ron you said that you wanted a steak right?" I was like " Uh, I don't know, can't we just leave, they don't want us here?" I was scared that we were going to get arrested. Everyone else wanted to leave except for Sam. He was rooting auntie on he was like, " Yeah auntie you tell him, we ain't nobody's nigger. I was the big brother but that day he was defiantly more brave than I was. After about twenty more minutes of arguing back and forth we gave up and left the diner. We piled back in the mini-van and drove off.

We decided to find a hotel and drive back to Detroit in the morning. We ended up selling the land to someone instead of keeping it. It took me a long time to get over the emotional trauma of this incident. Sometimes I still think back on it just to remind myself that racism still exists in America.


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Research essay sample on Mini Van Thirty Minutes

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