Over the years, the peaceful coexistence, interaction, and relationships between people have been jeopardized by factors such as gender, class, and racial discrimination. Among these, one of the struggles believed to define the 20th century is gender discrimination. This period was marked by the struggle between Western powers for third world countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In Africa, to be specific, the 20th century saw the whites discriminate and harshly treat blacks because of the difference in racial background and skin color. The discrimination was influenced by beliefs among whites that they were superior and more civilized than blacks. Doris Lessing in “The Old Chief Mshlanga” highlights that as a result of racial discrimination and inequality, black people served the whites, who settled in various parts of the African continent. Lessing adds that blacks worked as per the instructions of the white people, and this saw the former change seasons and move from one farm to the other, which was in accordance with the outlandish needs of the white people.
Although there is an emphasis on human equality in modern society, the racial problem in the 20th century saw white people develop hatred and negative attitudes towards blacks. Lessing underscores this by giving an example of a white child who took blacks for granted and could go to the extent of calling black servants to pick up her book if she dropped it several yards away. Racial discrimination is also highlighted in Lessing’s book where white people could make fun of blacks and set dogs on them and watch them run. Surprisingly, during the 20th century, white people saw no problem in racially discriminating blacks and other races. This struggle has no place in modern society given the emphasis on equality and peaceful coexistence between humans notwithstanding the race.