Arc of Justice

Arc of Justice

by

Kevin Boyle

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Henry Sweet, Sr. Character Analysis

Henry Sweet is Dora DeVaughn’s husband and Ossian, Otis, and Henry Sweet’s father. Although his parents had been enslaved in Texas and Alabama, family lore claims that they escaped before the end of the American Civil War. In any case, Henry was born after the end of the American Civil War. Like Dora, Henry exemplifies AME values of thrift, hard work, pride, and fairness. With her he teaches these values to his own children as they eke out a living despite Jim Crow segregation in Bartow, Florida. When he visits Ossian, Henry, and Otis in jail following the shooting on Garland Avenue, Henry expresses pride in his sons, not shame; he tells Otis there’s only shame in running from one’s problems.
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Henry Sweet, Sr. Character Timeline in Arc of Justice

The timeline below shows where the character Henry Sweet, Sr. appears in Arc of Justice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Ain’t No Slavery No More
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Progress and Social Change Theme Icon
...never abandoned the AME principles instilled during her childhood. In 1890 or 1891, she married Henry Sweet Sr. , a man born free in 1865 to parents who—according to family lore—escaped slavery in... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Progress and Social Change Theme Icon
In 1898, when Ossian was three, Henry Sweet, Sr. purchased and moved his family to a small plot of land in Bartow, Florida. When... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Henry Sweet Sr. toiled on his farm and sold his produce both in Bartow and in Tampa’s bigger... (full context)
Chapter 7: Freedmen, Sons of God, Americans
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
While the suspects await the arraignment hearing, they receive visitors, including Henry Sweet, Sr. , who travels all the way from Florida to visit his three sons. When Otis... (full context)