Fafnir (Dec 2020)

Ray Bradbury on Race and Segregation: The Case of “Way in the Middle of the Air” and “The Other Foot”

  • Juan David Cruz-Duarte

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 2
pp. 18 – 31


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This article analyses two stories by Ray Bradbury, “Way in the Middle of the Air” (1950) and “The Other Foot” (1951), examining the author’s depiction of racial conflict and segregation in the US South and in an imaginary Martian town populated by African Americans. While “Way in the Middle of the Air” seems to champion a separationist approach to racial conflict, “The Other Foot” articulates the author’s hope for the formation of a post-racial society, in which black and white citizens will be able to live in harmony, as equals. Reading these stories in relation to each other enriches understanding of Bradbury’s take on race relationships in the United States, and of racial tensions in the American South during the Jim Crow era.