The book With Every Drop of Blood, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, is a story about an unlikely friendship between Cush, n African American union soldier, and Johnny, a southern white boy, set during the civil war. In the beginning of the book, Johnny is an ignorant racist. However, Johnny's friendship with Cush helps him overcome his racist views. Johnny is shocked when he is captured by Cush. He is used to being superior to African Americans, not being commanded and pushed around by one.
Everyone back home says It Is beneath the dignity of a white man to have to fight "darkles" as equals, and Johnny agrees. He is even questioning whether or not Cush has the rains to know how to shoot a rifle. Johnny thinks to himself, "Darkles weren't smart enough for much, which Is why they had to have white people over them to tell them how to do things" (p. 77). Being surrounded by racists his whole life has shaped Johnny's opinions about black people, but those opinions change as he gets to know Cush better. Johnny starts to see things from the African American's point of view.
He pretends to go to bury EJB, when he was really going to make an escape and go head mom. He gets caught by the Union soldiers and brought back to the camp. There, he gets talking to Cush about his former life as a slave. Cush tells Johnny how his back was whipped raw Just for taking a piece of pork from a pig, right after his father was sold off. Johnny thinks about his home, where people said blacks were lazy, greedy, and too dumb to take care of themselves without a master. Johnny thinks, "l never asked a dark how they felt about being slaves.
Was everybody back home wrong? ' (p. 42) Now he realizes that everything he was told about slavery could be distorted. Because Cush Is an African American In a union uniform, he gets caught by some Confederates who lock him up in an old tobacco barn in Appoint. Johnny pretends that his family owns Cush, and that they really need the extra help on the farm. The Confederates refuse to release Cush, so Johnny leaves the barn without him and goes to look for Colonel Marshall to see if he'll be any help. Marshall is nowhere to be seen, so Johnny asks a man named Mares Mclean.
Mclean tells Johnny that the war has ended. The gunshots stop, and the Confederate soldiers release Cush. Johnny stands by the barn with him and thinks "It was mighty hard to believe that Cush was lower than me. " Then Johnny offers Cush some company on his way home. Johnny goes from a an Ignorant racist to someone that risks his life to save a black talks to Cush, the more he feels empathy for slaves. Johnny ends up becoming very good friends with Cush, and they both save each other's life. Johnny's friendship with Cush helps him overcome his racist views.