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156 Coalhouse Walker
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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Home Ragtime Articles of Interest 156 Coalhouse Walker

156 Coalhouse Walker

Coalhouse Walker Jr. is a well-mannered, black jazz musician who is the father of Sarah’s child. He comes back to the household week to week even after Sarah continues to refuse his requests to see her. Coalhouse is an important character because he does not recognize the racial divide that is evident among the other characters. He presents himself as an individual rather than a person of a certain race. He opens the eyes of the family by being so professional and establishing a relationship with Sarah. Sarah decides to accept Coalhouse’s proposal for marriage. Coalhouse Walker Jr.’s fight for justice begins when his Model-T is vandalized by members of the New Rochelle volunteer fire station led by Chief Willie Conklin during one of his visits to Sarah. He is told to stop to pay a toll and when he refuses his car is left in a pond. Coalhouse seeks justice for this incident and uses the funds he saved for his marriage towards obtaining a lawyer for his case. However, he is unable to get a lawyer who will defend him so he takes matters into his own hands. Sarah is adamant in making a stand for Coalhouse and she attends an event which the Vice President is at because she wants to petition the federal government in support of Coalhouse. However, secret service men perform a hit on her and she becomes ill and dies. As a result, Coalhouse produces an explosion at the Emerald Isle firehouse which kills four people. He makes war on all fire stations and threatens to blow up the Morgan Library in Manhattan. He wants Willie Conklin to die because of Sarah’s death and he wants his Model-T returned to him in the condition it was in when he first encountered the New Rochelle firemen. Father helps Coalhouse by presenting The District Attorney Charles S. Whitman with the issues and Whitman presents Coalhouse with his model-T and Willie Conklin. Coalhouse’s followers are freed without punishment and Coalhouse exits as well. However, Coalhouse Walker Jr. was killed by policemen and militia at his departure. The policeman claim that Coalhouse was trying to escape but Coalhouse was actually making a statement. He had obtained what he wanted but in doing so he lost his the woman he cared about and was never able to marry her. He sacrificed himself at the end by making a simple move of exiting the house. Coalhouse made a statement that although he obtained what he asked for he was no longer going to live in an unjust world and he was not going to be the victim of this society.

 

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http://www.themorgan.org/home.asp

 

Last Updated on Monday, 19 September 2011 08:51  

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