The Killing Floor

This essay has a total of 624 words and 3 pages.

The Killing Floor


By: Evita

The Killing Floor Frank Custer leaves his young family in rural Mississippi in pursuit of
industrial employment in the northern "Promised Land" of Chicago, Illinois. Little did he
know about the true extent of the journey he was about to embark on. Initially a move to
secure work and improve upon the conditions which surrounded him and his family; Frank was
about to change more in his life then just his economical status. Immediately upon
arriving in the bustling city, Frank and his close friend Thomas gravitate towards other
working class African-Americans with similar backgrounds. Unable to read or write, the two
men enlist the aide of their local YMCA in finding jobs at a local meat packing plant.
Frank's first encounters at the packinghouse set the tone for what is to entail. Racial
tensions combined with aggressions concerning class associated positions boil just barely
beneath the surface on the "killing floor." Conditions at the meatpacking plant are
considerably less then favorable. The hours are long, the work is backbreaking, and the
position in which he works does not pay very well. However, Frank's compensation for these
conditions are his relationships with the other men whom he lives near and works around.
Spending his evenings playing cards and talking with the men introduces Frank to more then
just a little relaxation; issues about politics, race relations, and especially the "white
man's union" dominate the colorful conversations. During this time I'm amazed at how Frank
refuses to let himself get dragged into blindly believing the popular opinions in which
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