Rising Above Oppression Being different and having fear of rejection is something we all experience at some point. “Still I Rise,” a poem written by Maya Angelou in 1978, expounds the indomitable spirit of African Americans, who have risen from slavery and every kind of humiliation. In it, the writer uses the motif of the image pattern “I Rise” to illustrate the way people have overcome great obstacles and oppression with enduring pride and grace, retaliating against discrimination of races and gender, and offering hope to the readers suffering from the same ordeal. In “Still I Rise,” Angelou speaks not only for herself; in fact, the poem 's scope is not limited to one person but to all the downtrodden individuals. The poetry critic Ellen McGeagh states: “This extension of self occurs in Angelou’s autobiographies and protest poetry” (McGeagh 28).
Lucille Clifton Introduction Lucille Clifton represents a double dose of uniqueness in the world of poetry; she is a woman, she is black, and she is powerful. She represents an unabashed version of poets. She is not afraid of speaking what is on her mind and does not mind the fact that some people will be offended. Her confidence in herself, her skin, her physique, and her heritage are unmistakable in the works that she produces. This is a woman who has written a poem about her hips, and the poem has become a literary treasure.
Without meaning to she eventually broke down the barrier and created their own African American literature. Most of her writing were based on historical Figures that she admired, such as George Washington, and she often wrote about the Revolutionary war and shared her opinions about them. “Wheatley’s poems reflected several influences on her life. For example, the famous poets she studied, such as Alexander Pope and Thomas Gray.” As shown about Phillis wrote about topics that she felt very strongly about and who she had the utmost respect
Sojourner Truth and Lucille Clifton, a powerful public speaker and a powerful African-American poet, both use the power of words to promote change. The pieces given from Sojourner Truth famously advocated women's rights and denounced slavery. The fundamentals of Lucille Clifton's pieces relate openly to slavery, her family, strong women and her heritage. Both these women use the effectiveness of speaking and writing to try and expose the exposition of social injustice and the inequality between the genders. Truth's famous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” and Clifton's poem, “at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina, 1989,” exemplify the rhetorical and poetic devices that it takes to create social change within poetry.
In the poem “Ego-Tripping” by Nikki Giovanni, she normalizes her worth by continuing to royalist herself as a black woman who is essential to mankind. Giovanni creates a vision throughout the poem, which leaves a thought in mind of how woman should look at themselves with much confidence as Giovanni does. “Ego Tripping” was written by Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, Jr. who was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 7, 1943. G9iovanni is a writer, poet, activist, and educator whose work was influenced during the Black Power Movements and the Civil Rights Movement. The poem was released in 2002.
Throughout the poem Jordan uses repetition and in the oral performance uses her voice to enhance her message and feelings. The poem was written in a time where black people and women were dehumanized where those in power abused the power to gain more and those without power were continuously affected by it. Reading the poem and had an impact on me with the dictation of lexis, however all of these feelings were heightened when I listened to the oral performance. The poem starts of in the present tense “Even tonight and I need to take a walk” (Jordan 1) which gives a setting to the scene, in the opening few lines Jordan uses the repetition of “I” and “my” which made the poem for me more personal, the use of repetition in the opening part of the poem produced a deeper connection to the poem, repetition of the words placed emphasis and clarity of the words which came after “my body posture my gender identity my age…” (Jordan
Through characterization and vilification, Joyce Carol Oates emphasizes both the wickedness and vulnerability of her female characters. Although Oates’s writing is predominantly seen as feministic or through a feminist lens, Oates says she is "very sympathetic with most of the aims of feminism, but cannot write feminist literature because it is too narrow, too limited” (Chell). While Oates may not directly say she writes feministic literature, the topics she writes about include the recognition of the difficulties specific to a female writer according to Chell. In many of her novels, her writing can actually be seen as both feminist and antifeminist due to her use of diction and characterization. The main character in the novel American Appetites, is Glynnis McCullough.
In “The Color Purple”, Alice Walker tells of the lives of African American women and their struggles with confidence and keeping their heads up through the shocking injustices forced upon them. In this book there are many examples of dynamic characters. A dynamic character is a literary or dramatic character who undergoes an important inner change as a change in personality or attitude. Celie, Albert, and Sofia are three examples of characters that experience these transitions. Celie’s life has been one heartbreak after another but she overcomes her low self-esteem despite it, Albert, Celie’s husband, was close to the worst person I’d ever seen but after Celie leaves him his character changes dramatically, and Sofia, initially fierce and strong, loses herself after being her outspoken and courageous self took away her whole world but she soon finds her way back.
Throughout American history, women have been treated as if they were of a lesser importance, this being ultimately true when speaking of slave women. With the feelings and beliefs of women being tossed to the side, it is easy to see how women enslaved could easily lose their dignity during slavery. This fight for sanity is prevalent in Harriet Ann Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl as well as Mark Twain’s “A True Story.” Through the never ending hope, the importance of family, and the inner fight slave women had, the women in these particular works were able to maintain a spark of faith to get them through each day. In Twain’s “A True Story”, Aunt Rachel’s hope is entrusted in the Union army. She believes her own son has escaped slavery and has landed in the north.
The first female African-American to win the Eunice Prize and the Pulitzer Prize, Gwendolyn Brooks made a big impression on America, (Shor 2006). She was an amazing poet who “committed herself to black pride”, (Shor 2006). As Brooks was an outcast due to her lack of social skills and race, she found comfort in writing poems that correlated her nationality, (Kent 1990). As a result of this, Gwendolyn Brooks grew up and saw the cruel outside world. In her poetry she writes with some humor about the stereotypes of the poor blacks, and the devastating consequences that the racist world sprung upon her ethnicity.