The Welcome Table
ENG 125 – Introduction to Literature
May 20, 2014
The Welcome Table by Alice Walker is a fascinating piece of literature that reminds us all of a time where racial equality was non-existent. The story is told in an omniscient third person point of view randomly shifting back and forth between various characters involved throughout the setting. We come to understand this woman’s detailed struggle to be treated fairly as an equal only to be dealt with the harsh discriminations due to the color of her skin.
The name, and events may be fictitious but there is no doubt that such indifference took place during this time period. The story begins when an old black woman enters a predominantly white church alone only to be looked at with shock, amazement and anger by the opposite color that feel that she is out of place and unwelcomed. Undaunted by the responses she receives from the white folks who question her motive, she continues on with her worship.
What makes the setting memorable is the fact that here is a black woman who is taking a stance to stand up for what she believes is right in the midst of racial prejudice and segregation. Understanding that her actions will cause internal strife, she boldly confronts the opposition head on. Nunnally states, “Whites’ power domination over black Americans, additionally, historicized black-white relationships in a way that created power imbalances favorable to whites and that created uncertainty between the two groups over individuals’ commitment white-dominating practices”. (Nunnally, 2012). Such is the case with the segregation of churches between white and black or the perception of a white Jesus as known to many.
For example, the narrator describes the old black woman’s unapologetic statement to the young usher that she in fact had not made a mistake in her decision to attend church,
“…went up to her and whispered that she should leave. Did he call her...