I Too Sing America Comparative Essay

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Since the 18th century to the 21st century, the United States has witnessed a numerous amount of changes towards their African American population. They started off as slaves to white slave owners, and slowly worked their way to citizens under the 13th amendment in 1865. Even though African Americans were legally citizens, they encountered countless injustices which still occur centuries later. African American literature from the 1900’s can give insight into the changes and similarities of the mindset of blacks, specifically “Still I Rise” (1978) by Maya Angelou and “I, Too, Sing America” (1926) by Langston Hughes. Both literary pieces contain the similar essence in regards to blacks; African Americans will rise into glory, and their true…show more content…
By using dinner time and the kitchen as an example, Hughes shows that blacks will be able to eat in the same area as whites. “They send me to eat in the kitchen” (“Sing” 3), and later in the poem Hughes’ states “Tomorrow, / I’ll be at the table / When company comes” (“Sing” 8-10). By eating in the same place as whites, it shows that blacks will have the same privileges as whites. They will be on equal footing and no one will have the right to say otherwise. The rise is in equality. In Angelou’s poem however, the rise of blacks is above those of whites. By accentuating the “badness” of whites, and the mistreatments they enforces, she shows that blacks are in fact greater and stronger at heart than the whites.
African American literature in the 1900’s contain differences due to the constant change of black image, and also similarities in its inherent essence. Because Langston Hughes’ “I, Too, Sing America” is written in the beginning of the century, and Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” is written in the latter half of the century, the transformation of black mindset is apparent. Transformations have occurred even after the 20th century, and continuing morphs in the image of blacks occur with each passing year. In the next hundred of years, will the blacks still different than everyone else, or will a unification
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