Racism has existed in human history since time immemorial. It is a perceived hatred of one person by another. In the South, during the setting of the book, The Period Before the Flood, Ned explores the culture and society of this time. It was marked with racial segregation where the whites believed that their race was more superior to that of the blacks. According to him, Orleans was the valve through which a world of music and culture in the South was formed. However, this was not an easy mainstream of events. There was rampant segregation against the blacks. In this book, he closely traces his own experience from the white supremacy of segregation.
In the Southern community, there are no Americans that can claim to be racists and most of them may claim to be color blind when it comes to the issue of race. However, race and racism forms an inescapable and integral part of the Southern community. In the book, The Period Before the Flood, Ned says that race is the key to how Southern people learn to perceive themselves and all those around them (Sublette, 2009, p. 40). For example, in chapter one of his book, Ned says that even in the slavery days, white and black children at one time of their life could have had a personal contact, but in the South during his childhood years, children were kept separate as humanly as possible. Black and white children did not know each other. Ned says that he lived in a town where almost half of its dwellers were black people, but he never spoke to an African American child.
Racial segregation was also a wide spread in schools. There were schools strictly for the whites and strictly for the blacks. Ned describes the Southern society as a society that is marked with full segregation. Racism was deep rooted in minds of the Southern people. It was a white supremacist society. This was emphasized by programs such the Ku Klux Klan. Such programs not only segregated, the blacks, but emphasized that they were literally, legally and second class citizens. For example, one of the Ned's teachers Mrs. Harrison said that the blacks had good schools just like the whites. This is a racist thinking because it was apparent that white's schools were better than the blacks.
Ned Sublette has developed an idiosyncratic way to analyze the culture and people in the Southern society. In a large extent, Ned has to reflect a depth of a racist schism that was ingrained in the minds of New Orleans' people. The flood, portrayed in the book, does not necessarily refer to destruction brought by Hurricane Katrina. However, Ned Sublette has derived a lot from the perception that the world will be inescapably destroyed in few months to come. In this book, Ned Sublette has made his literature work to be as one of a type of Pompeian monument to a city that was misplaced by racial schism and discrimination.
Long before the flood of racism and segregation, Ned Sublette provides a reflective outlook at New Orleans and its daily mix of squalor and splendor. New Orleans is portrayed as the world of insular traditions that have found their way into the ordinary American culture. New Orleans is racially segregated that Ned Sublette lack an avenue to interact with his African American nobles. In this book, author states that people's lives in New Orleans were so disconnected to extent that it was extremely difficult to realize that people were living in a violent racist society; while Jim Crow's regulations were still in its effect.
The New Orleans' society was deeply divided along the racial line. The black and the white rarely convened in any event. In his book, Ned Sublette confesses that he first interacted with a black culture through a radio. For example, the society was racially segregated; but with an integrated radio he notes that they had 'segregated society but integrated radio'. For instance, when Fats Domino used to get an airplay in the radio, most people in the society, including Ned Sublette, used to become obsessed. In addition, white people used to allow the blacks in their restaurants, as well as listen to them in the radio. Amazingly, the situation has been reversed and the New Orleans is socially and racially divided along its racial lines.
Ned Sublette has used music to show the extent in which racial segregation has been entrenched deeply in the New Orleans' society. Ned Sublette depicts music as one of the most precious cultural aspects of the American culture in the New Orleans. The New Orleans black musical culture is portrayed as one unique from the rest of the USA. This is because there is a free class of black people with diversity in music sources. According to Ned Sublette, this explains why music from New Orleans has such strong appeal to America's music culture. This is evident through his overpraised music in the book. However, the music in New Orleans has dented the national consciousness; there is vicious racial violence and predatory criminality in the city between different social groups. This is evident from Ned Sublette statement that says: 'Part of the continuing evolutionary transformation of hip-hop is to be impermeable if not absolute unfavorable to white people apart from as consumers'. This indicates the deep of social and racial schism between the black and the white cultures in New Orleans.
Other cultures have responded differently to the Southern culture. For example, whites from the North believe that their culture is more modern than the culture in the South. What is more, the Northerners believe that racial segregation is the main reason why people do not get along and often fight. For example, in the book, The Period before the Flood, people in the South experienced civil wars. The blacks, who were segregated, felt that the whites were exploiting them.