Discrimination is evident throughout this novel, and is clearly is a major theme. The novel A Lesson Before Dying, shows that the blacks did not deserve any respect in many ways. For example, when the superintendent came to visit the school, the white people in that time thought that the blacks were unclean, and uneducated. For them to think this, it was extremely hypocritical because the board was not willing to give them the money for new books. Equality between the two races was not evident at all; the blacks were not given a chance to show how they measured up to everyone else. Discrimination is one of the harshest issues when it comes to races.
Colored people as a whole were not the only things that were being discriminated against. Jefferson was faced with many issues of discrimination himself. Jefferson was not able to show potential the way he should have been. Throughout most of the book everyone thought of him as a hog instead of a man, and this is all because of his race linked with a crazy thing called discrimination. Jefferson is called a hog because he goes on trial for a murder, a murder he did not commit. Jefferson was put on trial for this murder for many reasons, one reason being his color alone. Another reason he was called a hog was because he had no intelligence. If Jefferson was given proper schooling in his earlier years, they would not have referred to him this way, but because he was colored he was not given the attention he needed. In Jefferson being called a hog, they were saying he is not a real man. Grant Wiggin's later attempts to make Jefferson into a man, and this shows the potential he has, which also reflects upon the rest of the community. Our world is very unique, but we all are the same no matter what race each of us may be, it is just sad that some people do not see it that way. .
Fairness is an issue that is prominent throughout the novel and there is no fairness between whites and blacks in any way.