The white people seem to brush off the ruins of the Civil War while the African Americans were left with broken promises and discrimination after the war. Many African Americans were under the impression that they would prove their worth and somehow crawl out of discrimination by fighting in the war. However, they were still under the cloud of prejudice and stereotype after risking their lives. Paul Laurence Dunbar is a poet that was often recognized for his criticism about the discrimination that the African Americans faced. One of his famous pieces, The Race Questions Discussed (1898), contained his opinions about the treatment they were receiving.
In 1895, one-third of the population of the south is of the African American race. This contributed to the racial tension. In The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. Du Bois called “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” his point of view is how does it feel to be the problem? African Americans have to put up a veil and be compelled to live a double life. In the “Atlanta Compromise” by Booker T. Washington, his point of view is that African Americans need to work through a struggling progress in order to earn equality.
John Howard Griffin purposely titled the novel “Black Like Me” because of the way it portrays his personal feelings and thoughts as a black man. In the middle of the novel Griffin references to the remark, “Learned behavior patterns so deeply engrained they produce unconscious involuntary reactions” (Griffin 68). Griffin began to feel connections to society as a black person and no longer as a white. Griffin uses the title to link back to those feelings of being “Black Like Me”. The title is significant in helping readers capture Griffins true emotions in his transformation.
Dr. King uses diction to discuss the topic of equality for the African American people. Diction is a person's choice of words and contributes to their voice and style. " (...) The Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself exile in his own land" (281). Exile is used in this quote to explain how much African American citizens are shunned in society.
Douglass also used verbal irony to denounce the contradictory and abusive behavior of his masters, which emotionally appealed to anger and ethically to shame; he achieved the same thing through situational irony which logically appealed to an audience well acclimated to sympathizing with a black man. Douglass’ use of irony appeals on multiple levels as he continues to protest slavery and move towards advanced devices, the latter of which will conclude when he recounts
He was their voice. Throughout the “letter” Dr. King demonstrated pathos by engaging his readers of the struggle of being an African American descent. Dr. King starts off by letting his readers know that he was confined during the time of the letter was written and he was addressing the eight clergymen who called his action of a peaceful protest “untimely and unwise”. (King Jr., p. 645) However, he continues to explain his reason for being in Birmingham by saying that injustice was present and he could not just sit in another state and watch it;” Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Around the end of the 19th century, there lived many people wanting equality between races. Two main leaders of the African American community that emerged during that time were W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. All though both of these men were fighting for the same cause, they disagreed greatly with each other relating to the strategies that could be used to create progress in both the social and economic aspects of how African Americans lived and were treated. The two conflicting philosophies of these men are still affecting how we think of racial inequality, social class injustice, and much more; to this day.
By writing Black Like Me, John Griffin was trying to write down everything he felt was important on his journey as a black man. One of the major things wrote down was the idea of white racism. Which is the belief that white people are superior to other races and because of that should run society. So, the main topic of the novel was social divide of whites and African Americans. As a black man John saw the contempt white people had towards African Americans, and just the overall condescending attitude emanated from these people.
A Raisin in the Sun was an innovative play for its era. Lorraine Hansberry produces in the Younger household one of the first authentic portrayals of a black household on an American stage, in an era where primarily black spectators just didn’t exist. African-American characters, typically minor and comedic, mostly hired racial stereotypes before this play. Lorraine Hansberry, nevertheless, displays a whole black household in an authentic view, one that is unbecoming and anything but comedic. She makes use of black dialect all through the play and raises significant concerns and struggles, for instance poverty, bigotry and racism.
John Howard Griffin’s “Blake like Me” is a historical novel which illustrates the author’s experience of discrimination between the whites and African American in the American south states. The author darkens his skin to in order to live as a black man in the south states. Although he encounters numerous challenges, he is still move from state to another which are experiencing racism from whites. Also he interacts with blacks who want justice to live peacefully. Indeed, Griffin accomplishes the major theme of “Black Like Me” reduction of the ethnicity discrimination, through his use of three basic literary themes: religion, race, and identity.
King and Hansberry presented the racial tensions between the influence and the authority mainstream to expose the limits of an unequal and racist American society. It is proven in both texts that inequality and discrimination that African Americans face, negatively impacts their thoughts, feelings, and domestic relationships with one another. Finally, King and Hansberry reveal that it is human to dream. The influences that the African American community struggle with daily, such racial discrimination, hinders the ability to fulfill their dreams.
Overall, The Souls of Black Folk eye opening to life of blacks. Reading the essays helped get insight on even present day situations they face. Racisms still exists to some extent but I believe Du Bois’ book can inspire people in the present day to apply his ideas. He vividly explains the effects the racism and segregation has on the African America
This year’s summer reading essay requested a connection between a short poem by Bertolt Brecht and Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone. My paper generally fulfilled the purpose of the prompt, but could use improvement. The comment “what will this argue?” made it clear that the topic sentences opening the body paragraphs of my essay were inconsistent and insufficient in terms of stating the paragraphs’ arguments. While the second and third body paragraphs included topic sentences that connected more explicitly to the Brecht quote, overall they were rushed and transitioned less than smoothly.