preview

Claude Mckay If We Must Die Analysis

Good Essays
Don’t Fear the Noble Death Thesis: Claude McKay’s If We Must Die encouraged African Americans to take their stance in society, send a statement to their oppressors, and have no fear of an insignificant death. The Red Summer of 1919 brought intense racial violence in the United States between white Anglo-Saxon and African Americans. Many white Americans believed that blacks, along with immigrants threatened their way of life. The men who went off to fight in World War I, along with the Great Migration of the South created a bigger black population in northern cities. The onslaught of this new culture posed a threat to white America. White American retaliated with the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and other measures to fight this new culture. Tension among workers and the threat of Communism caused major riots…show more content…
He wanted them to know they are prepared to fight to the death. The oppressors should prepare for a lengthy battle in which the African people will not peacefully surrender to tyranny. White people believe they are under siege, moreover, blacks are prepared to retaliate. McKay knows they are outnumbered in their fight against the whites, but their cause is just. Ultimately, McKay knows that people will die. He wants black people to know their death may be imminent, be that as it may, their cause will be remembered. They will not be overcome with fear as the white man expects. They will fight to the death and prove to their white adversary that black life is meaningful. I feel that Claude McKay wrote this specific poem out of retaliation of the Red Summer that coincided with America’s Red Scare. White America felt like anyone that wasn’t native born, protestant, and shared traditional American values posed a threat to the country. African Americans regrettably fit into this category. Claude McKay wanted to instill a fighting spirit into an already downtrodden
Get Access