Only the kids can escape through schooling. They try to get Town Hall jobs, and other jobs in the city. One adult says, “Learning is the key to freedom. ? Mr Medouze also says, “Men can destroy lives, but not recreate. ? He is talking about how they were released from slavery, but now they still don’t have lives. All they do is work in the cane fields for little pay, and try to live off it. When Mr. Medouze is dying, he says that when he goes, he will be going back home to Africa. It’s a home and heaven to him and where he would like to be.
Jose explains this to the townsfolk when Mr. Medouze passes. Leopold’s father doesn’t want him hanging around Jose because he is poor. Even though Leopold is a mixed child, he is treated like a white because his father is rich and white. As Leopold’s father is dying, the man says that he will not pass his name down to him. He said his name is not for a mulatto. This strips Leopold of everything. After Leopold’s father dies. Nobody respects him because he is a mulatto, or a “mule ?. He only is respected because his father is white and rich, even though his mother is black.
He is accused of stealing something and is arrested. As they take Leopold away, the crowd sings, “The blacks have no justice, and no money. ? Jose Amantine is a hardworking kid who has the drive to get out of the fields. He passes the exams and gets to go to school in the city. Even though his full name is Jose Amantine, he goes by the name Jose Hassam, which is a respected name because it is the name of the teacher back in the country. Ma Tine has to work ironing and washing clothes all day just to afford living in the city and paying for Jose’s school.
Some kids get in to the school, but they cannot afford it so they stay and work in the fields. This goes back to how they don’t have very many opportunities. Jose is happy in school. Jose is even accused of cheating because the teacher does not expect him to be such a good student. After doing well in school, Jose is given a full scholarship. Ma Tine dies from being too exhausted from working her whole life. She is said to be going back to Mr. Medouze’s “Africa ?. In the end, Jose’s last words are that when he goes back to the city, he will take Black Shack Alley with him.
He says this because he will not forget his roots and where he came from. He will most likely go back and visit his old friends in the alley, because it is where he came from. This movie shows the hard times of the people who used to be slaves, but are now released. Even though they are said to be “free ?, they still have to stay and do the same work, for little wages. I don’t know if you can call that “free ?. The whites family names give them power in these societies. Very few make it out of the fields, and most spend their whole lives there.