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. Initially, “Ain’t I a Woman?” and “at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina, 1989,” relate similarly through many aspects. There's resemblance seen through the diction and theme of these pieces. Truth mastered the art of public speaking. She was an orator, and orators, like poets, use diction and the sounds of their words as their meanings to present important ideas.
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.
Charles Chesnutt tackles the concept of racial identity in the novel The House Behind the Cedars by using his characters to attack the myth of race as a biological concept. In the novel, characters like John Warwick and Rena perform whiteness by adopting the mentality of whites in their area. Their performance did not include just passing using their skin color, but it also included adopting an attitude of racial superiority towards their black counterparts. This racial superiority includes adopting the mentality that white blood is superior to black blood. After Warwick meets with his mother and sister secretly, the novel expounds on this mentality stating: Warwick .
In the poem "Coal," Audre Lorde explains her understanding of how she interacts with herself then, with the society. She wrote the poem in the first person in a free verse style. In the sentence, "There are many kinds of open"(4), Lorde brings up the ambiguity of human personality. She tries to show how something pure and obvious on the first sight can be complex and unclear at the same time. Throughout the poem, the author speaks out the issues she has to deal with because of her racial status, her profession, and her sexual orientation.
African American Literature has imagery, themes, and vocabulary that are distinctive to its race. This form of literary expression was created by racism. The main reason why I don’t think that Caucasian can write about our experiences is neither because their debated writing presumes a perspective that they have not nor could they ever experience. If not handled properly, the work could come off as offensive. For those Caucasians who chose to write about African American Literature risk the misrepresentation; will the work be truthful?
The poetry critic Ellen McGeagh states: “This extension of self occurs in Angelou’s autobiographies and protest poetry” (McGeagh 28). Although the “I” of Angelou’s refrain is obviously female and represents a woman outspoken about her personal and social struggle, it exemplifies the abiding defiance all people strive to possess when seeking to overcome any obstacle. While the protagonist in “Still I Rise” proudly feels a strong connection with her ethnicity, the Asian girl illustrated in
Hurston: The Most Colorful Figure of the Harlem Renaissance Zora Neale Hurston was an American author during the time period of the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston exhibits her historical and realistic writing style through all of her work. Despite the sometimes harsh stories of discrimination, her regionalist folklore fiction writing remains faithful. Hurston’s writing portrays racism, suffering, struggle and fear. She explains the social lives and customs through her personal experiences making her work autobiographical through nature.
“But because of affirmative action or minority something—she is not sure what they are calling it these days and weren’t they supposed to get rid of it?,” writes Claudia Rankine in her critically acclaimed American book, Citizen. Within this quote, Rankine begins to showcase the narrative of a black women in a society that strives to be color blind. Affirmative action has caused controversy as it threatens white supremacy since it favors diversity. The bitter attitude towards affirmative action expressed by whites, causes people of color to feel apologetic for their achievements and opportunities. Claudia Rankine reveals how white supremacist attitudes trigger people of color to live their life in an apologetic nature through the short stories of the cafeteria, the neighbor calling the police, and the Serena William’s celebratory dance.
The elaborate racial politics of Ernest J. Gaines’s book, A Lesson Before Dying give insight and reason as to why certain people of different ethnicities are treated as such. The racial politics in A Lesson Before Dying are more intricate with people of mixed race factored in. The hatred for African Americans by white people runs very deep in this novel, but people of mixed race complicate this system because those of mixed race are both face racial prejudice while maintaining a superior attitude towards African Americans. White people are politically, economically, and socially privileged and continue to believe that they have racial superiority in this novel. White supremacy is very visible in this novel as is their racism towards the two
The poem “Miscegenation” generally introduces a new concept of self-identification and identity, this is because in the past the matters of race were only evident in Americans-Africans, but it is a contentious issue. The poem explains the challenges she went through being a person of mixed race in her developmental years, therefore; lead her to experience a lot of discrimination. In the poem, Trethewey believes that the existing American laws were referencing the feelings of being different. It did cause her to doubt whether she is white, black or an individual of mixed race. During the 1960’s society did not approve of interracial marriages and considered it a sin.
The civil rights movement represented an era of conflict for Black men as some sought to distinguish themselves as protectors and defy the “demonization of Black masculinity” (Estes, 2005, p.66). Mr. Estes argues that it was defense of the overt racism men experienced which led them to use “masculinist strategies of racial uplift” to gain political and social power (Estes, 2005, p. 7). The author uses a variety of other works to support this analysis of dynamics of race, masculinity and power. However, in referencing newspaper articles, the author admits that these tactics effectively shifted the conversation of the female involvement in civil rights activities and addresses how the bias