Arc of Justice

Arc of Justice

by

Kevin Boyle

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Otis Sweet Character Analysis

Otis Sweet is middle Sweet brother, between Ossian and Henry Sweet. Otis followed Ossian’s example and clawed his way from poverty into the talented tenth through an education at Florida State College and Meharry Medical School where he studied dentistry. After settling in Detroit, however, Otis seems content with a low-profile life; he’s more interested in attending baseball games than NAACP meetings. Nevertheless, he promises to help Ossian defend the house on Garland Avenue and is arrested for the murder of Leon Breiner along with Ossian, Gladys, Henry, John Latting, William Davis, Joe Mack, Norris Murray, Hewitt Watson, Charles Washington, and Leonard Morse. Before the trial, encouraged by his father, Henry Sweet, Sr. to be proud of taking a stand, he joins with Morse, Davis, and Washington in appealing to the NAACP to take over the group’s defense from Julian Perry, Cecil Rowlette, and Charles Mahoney.
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Otis Sweet Character Timeline in Arc of Justice

The timeline below shows where the character Otis Sweet appears in Arc of Justice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Where Death Waits
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
...knows that he must defend his house, violently if necessary. He calls on his brothers Otis Sweet and Henry Sweet, and his friends Edward Carter, Julian Perry, William Davis, and John... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...on the 8th assisted by their chauffeur Joe Mack, a handyman named Norris Murray, and Otis, Henry, and Latting. Soon a policeman named Inspector McPherson knocks on the door to introduce... (full context)
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
Ossian distributes weapons among the seven men in the house: Otis, Henry, Davis, Latting, Mack, Murray, and himself. Neither Julian Perry nor Dr. Edward Carter came—and... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
...a rock crashes through the window. Just then, a taxi pulls up in front with Otis and William Davis. While Ossian opens the front door to let them in, the mob... (full context)
Chapter 3: Migration
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...he indulges in arrogance, like when he openly criticizes Meharry Medical College, where his brother Otis studies dentistry. Determined to make good on his education, Ossian looks sets wealth and status... (full context)
Chapter 5: White Houses
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...by his European studies, Ossian spent much of the year rebuilding his practice. His brother Otis moved to Detroit and established a dental practice, while the much younger Henry completed his... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
...Black people asserting the “rights of men,” so be it. He gathers his compatriots: Gladys, Otis, Henry and his friend John Latting, Julian Perry, Dr. Carter, William Davis, Joe Mack and... (full context)
Chapter 7: Freedmen, Sons of God, Americans
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
...Sweet, Sr., who travels all the way from Florida to visit his three sons. When Otis apologizes for embarrassing the family, Henry says he has nothing to be embarrassed about because... (full context)