Dunbar's 'We Wear The Masks'

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In “We Wear the Masks,” Dunbar displays the oppression and pressure that the black community faced in the late 19th century. With remaining unjust laws and unforgetting former slaves, Dunbar evaluates the saddened and fake expression that his community faced. His title indicates that the newly freed black population in America could not truly be themselves but had to wear a “mask” that made them acceptable to the white population. Dunbar unites his community by projecting them as a whole encountering a new form slavery together. The poem aims to express how the black population was forced to hide their continued suffering in order to not endanger their newly gained freedom. He writes, “We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries / To thee from
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