Reflection: Traveling by Grace Paley

In Grace Paley’s “Traveling”, she depicts herself as a stranger who observes an example of segregation on a bus and steps in to the aid of a young black mother. She offers to hold the child as she sees the mother is extremely tired. Though Paley has no previous connection to the child she volunteers to hold on the bus or his mother, she describes this child as her grandson, a metaphor for the depth of the connection that exists between people who allow themselves to empathize with others. The basis for this community is simply the recognition of the injustice of segregation and a sense of empathy for those who are affected by it.

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