In this poem, Angelou talked about the racial segregation between White Americans and Black Americans. She used the “free bird” and the “caged bird” as a metaphor to express her own emotions about the freedom and isolation. The poem reveals her deep feelings of racism and discrimination. “I
Other Southern states quickly followed this precedent and soon racial segregation was legally enforced across the South in public facilities such as hospitals, prisons, cemeteries and, perhaps most significantly, in schools. Such segregation was endorsed by two rulings of the US Supreme Court” (Valeri). The South was a difficult place to live for people of color, but the Boatwright sisters broke the chain of hate and helped Lily understand the real message of life, which was loving others despite their outward appearance. Rather than bringing shame to the topic of racism, the novel elevates the idea that the color of one’s skin does not define one’s
In a way, Angelou sets her own tone, with a unique style. She captivates a historical period, that is turned in to a story of its own. Angelou uses a metaphoric way to compare a free bird to the “white race” while the encaged one is “African American”. There is also some assonance where she states, “But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams.” Another poetic device is alliteration, she explains “A bird in a narrow cage, can see through his bars of rage”. The tone is angry but yet determined, whereas the surroundings will not cause defeat.
Finney used personal and historical details so long as they are of interest to the people. She used to study figures she chose to write about, such as George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Rosa Parks, but the poems “absolutely come out of me” (Finney, “An Interview with Nikky Finney”). Head off & Split records a history of oppression, enslavement and exploitation of African Americans. Finney revisits past events and represents them interestingly. The book consists of three sections, the first of which is a group of poems that deal with “Hard Headed” African-American women, from Rosa Parks to the poet’s grandmother to Condoleezza Rice … The poems…are unabashedly political, erotic and personal and narrative-driven.
“We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society” (“Famous Angela Davis quotes - We have to talk about ….). Angela Davis no longer accepted the philosophies or ideas she could not modify within others, but worked to change the beliefs she could no longer accept. Davis aimed for her voice to be heard, so that her perspectives would perceive and taken into account by society. Davis is best known as a profound African-American educator, extremist for civil rights, and other advocate of other social issues. She realized about racial prejudice from her experiences with discrimination growing up in Birmingham, Alabama.
“So in two seconds away we went a-sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again”(ch. 29) From the beginning to the end of the book the river is used as the artery of the story symbolically and physically. The river is more than just a route to freedom to Huck. After escaping almost death in between a gun fight in chapter 18, Huck woke up on the raft to a still breathless river. He realized more than ever how peaceful the river was.
“Caged Bird” is a poem written by Maya Angelou where she juxtaposes between the free bird and the caged bird, portraying the immenseness of their differences; however, the poem is so much more than this comparison between two birds. When we dig deeper into the words which were carefully selected in order to create this poem, we can identify the powerful hidden message behind it. The message behind this poem is actually about racism and gender roles, and it seems that Maya Angelou is trying to bring racial issues to the light by using powerful metaphors and compares the white community, the “free bird”, versus the black community, the “caged bird”. The words that are used in this poem can help distinguish these differences between the two communities where the free bird is associated with pleasant, flowing words such as “floats,” “sun rays” and “sighing trees”; whereas the words associated with the caged bird are harsh sounding, like “clipped,” “grave” and “fearful trill.” The caged bird sings repeatedly throughout the poem, which can be seen as a form of desperate self-expression as the caged bird, in this case a black person, doesn’t know how to escape the prison of racism. I will discuss this poem further with the help of the claims of two authors we have studied in class, Bell Hooks in “Black Looks: Race and Representation” and Percy Bysshe Shelley in “A Defense of Poetry”.
How do the techniques of symbolism and metaphor convey ideas in the poems 'Marrysong’ and ‘caged bird?' The poems Marrysong and Caged bird by Dennis Scott and Maya Angelou adopt the techniques of metaphor and symbolism to effectively communicate the main ideas in these two poems. A number of differences can be explored in regards to the poems’ theme and tone, but similarities through the poems’ techniques.The first poem has a theme of unpredictability and is about two partners who don't have a perfect love but learn to accept one another for who they are. Angelou’s use of metaphor and symbolism for the second poem sensationally capture the poem's theme of African-American civil rights and strive for racial equality. Dennis Scott’s Marrysong
Fannie Lou Hamer was an influential civil rights activist during the mid-1900s. She gave many empowering speeches to encourage African-Americans to exercise their right to vote. In fact, she is well-known for her efforts in Mississippi which was a hotbed for segregation. She spoke out against the all white delegation and inspired the black community to rise up against their oppressors. She didn’t focus her attention only on voting rights.
Angelou’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement and her achievements as an activist were remarkable. While these achievements seem to be enough to last a lifetime, the Civil Rights Movement was only the beginning for Angelou. Angelou worked as an outspoken Civil Rights activist during the movement. But even after the Civil Rights Movement had ended, she continued to be a voice of humanity, speaking out against anything that harmed the human spirit. Angelou moved on to influence American society as a whole, from the 1970’s to the day she died, May 28, 2014.