The “Mama might be better of dead” is a book that has an ethnographic story of the life of four generations of African American families who live in one of the poorest communities in Chicago. It takes place in the 1990’s in the North Lawndale and it is located in the Westside Abraham (2013). The story discusses in detail how the health care system does not work for most low income families. The story states that the Banks family is going through many challenging and traumatic situations where they do not have all the necessary health care due to low income.
In “Occupation: Conductorette” Angelou’s perseverance helped her obtain the job she was striving for. During Angelou’s time, her being African American made it unfortunate for her to acquire a job. Angelou wanted an occupation as a conductorette, but her mother said “They don’t accept colored people on street cars”(Angelou, 143). This made Angelou furious and she was not going to let this stop her from getting the occupation she desires. When she says “I would like to claim an immediate fury followed by the noble determination to break the restricting traditions” (Angelou, 143). This shows that Angelou has determination to change the traditions and break the barrier between her race and
had her feeling many different emotions leading to her big day. “I had taken to smiling more
Words might not cut a person’s skin or break his bones, but with all certainty they are not harmless. They can cause immediate pain or bring instant joy; they trigger emotional responses faster than any other senses can. At the beginning of “Graduation Day,” Maya Angelou sounds similar to any other graduate: anxious, excited, and ready to move on to the next step in her life. However, a speech by Edward Donleavy, a white man, unintentionally pointed out the people of the Negro race did not have the same opportunities as the white people. The power of his words causes Angelou to cast a negative outlook on her Negro identity and to lose her faith in all of humanity. Although people often think words go unnoticed or without consequence, demeaning words with a powerful connotation harm a person’s self-worth.
She appeals to figurative language throughout her poem by showing that she and many other black individuals aren’t ready to give up. Repetition is one of the ways the author approaches her message throughout the poem efficiently with the use of “I rise.” The poet constantly uses this line to represent her confidence and faith despite of all the hardships that she and other people have faced throughout their lives. She uses comparison with using devices such as simile and metaphor. One quote is “You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise” (3-4). This means that the author will rise from the dirtiness from the people that will talk down about her. Another example is “just like moons and like suns (9)…just like hopes springing high, still I rise” (11-12). Angelou compares herself to the moons and suns because she will rise no matter what happens just like the sun and moon everyday. These comparisons are made by using the word, “like”, making them a simile. She also uses a different type of comparison, metaphor, which is a comparison without the use of “like or as.” In line 32, the poet quotes, “I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,” which describes herself to a black ocean, which the black ocean represents terror and fear, something that Maya Angelou has faced all her life. There are two types of figurative language devices in this specific line, personification and hyperbole, respectively. Personification is giving human qualities to a nonhuman quality. Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement which isn’t meant to be taken exactly. Angelou addresses, “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise” (21-24). Maya Angelou mentions that shooting, cutting, and killing are connected to words, eyes, and hatefulness. She gives qualities to
Maya Angelou humbly accepts the fact that she does not look fair and good-looking but her resisting power is astounding. Being born as a black lady she is upset at times but, it lives for a short while. She advises all women to join hands with her in her march towards a Utopia where they would also be treated on par with everyone. All her dreams take a form in her poetry and her vision is demanding. Her ideas take form of complacency through her poems. Dr. Usha thinks, “The Female identity crisis is centered around her appearance. In a society attuned to White standards of physical beauty, Angelou felt plain and ugly and therefore inadequate. This threw her into a psychological prison from which she freed herself with great difficulty. Running parallel to the identity crises is the theme of
In Maya Angelou’s chapter Mrs. Flowers, Marguerite Johnson, finds how to become successful in a segregated America. What Mrs. Flowers does is teaches Marguerite how to avoid racist people, that usually meant staying home. Mrs Flowers made her memorize many works of literature such as poems. “Take this book of poems and memorize one for me. Next time you pay me a visit I want you to recite it.” This story connects directly back to Maya Angelou’s life. She was always memorizing writing as a child. It was because of that she thrived in so many different occupations and won two grammys. Maya Angelou is showing that even when you are put in the worst of circumstances it is possible to succeed.
In reading the passage “Encounter with Martin Luther King Jr.”, it shows a very important moment in Maya Angelou’s life. In the passage, Maya Angelou does not include much of diction or sensory details. Even though these two characteristics are missing, she has a strong grip on characterization of both Martin Luther King Jr. and herself while the dialogue is also well written.
She uses a hyperbole such as, “She indeed stepped from the road which seemed to have been chosen for her and cut herself a brand-new path” (Angelou, “New Directions” 498). Her grandmother couldn’t actually cut a new piece of road, but Angelou’s metaphor leaks with her grandmother’s courage to make a life for herself. Angelou’s overall tone is persistent and proud. Her grandmother’s persistent need to make a better life took greats amounts of strength to
In “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Baby: An American Grammar Book,” Hortense Spiller opens up the reading by focusing on the names that America has given African American women. (Hortense 64) She tries to explain how America judges them only because the color of their skin. Spiller talks about her own personal feelings about the way that these women were treated throughout her story. She mentions the positive as well about these women how they were the backbones of the family and how they took care of the
The German philosopher Nietzsche once said, “That which does not kill us, make us stronger”, and in many instances this is exactly the case. In most every instance of tragedy or hardship, the people affected must either yield to or rise above their situation, and in rising above, develop or display extraordinary and exemplary traits uniquely fitted to dealing with that situation. As a result, without adversity, these talents would be left unused. There are instances in which people crack under the pressure or sink to the expectations of their situation, but, depending on the character of the person involved, they may take the situation and use it to better themselves. It is a unique opportunity to utilize or develop traits that often remain
Just like Douglass’ speech, Angelou’s poem greatly reflects discrimination and just how little people’s opinions about her do not mean anything. Maya Angelou one stated, “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise.” (pg. 3) She mentions that even if she may come from a past layered in gut-wrenching pain, no matter what has been thrown at her, she will look beyond them. Angelou also mentions, “Bringing the gifts thay my ancestors gave, I am the dream and hope of the slave.” (pg. 3) She is able to bring freedom and equality to the African American people, even if the white Americans do not agree with it. She is the voice of her people and will not stop until discrimination is
Afro-American women writers present how racism permeates the innermost recesses of the mind and heart of the blacks and affects even the most intimate human relationships. While depicting the corrosive impact of racism from social as well as psychological perspectives, they highlight the human cost black people have to pay in terms of their personal relationships, particularly the one between mother and daughter. Women novelists’ treatment of motherhood brings out black mothers’ pressures and challenges for survival and also reveals their different strategies and mechanisms to deal with these challenges. Along with this, the challenges black mothers have to face in dealing with their adolescent daughters, who suffer due to racism and are heavily influenced by the dominant value system, are also underlined by these writers. They portray how a black mother teaches her daughter to negotiate the hostile, wider world, and prepares her to face the problems and challenges boldly and confidently.
The two stories “Champion of the World” by Maya Angelou and “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan discuss different problems within America. Angelou is an African-American woman while Tan is a Chinese-American woman. Angelou and Tan live in a different background. Angelou’s time period is more serious than the other causing her to be stronger. The characters both have different perceptions, but Angelou’s awareness is more eye opening making her valiant. They both learn different lessons; Angelou has the greatest life lesson pushing her to be brave. Maya Angelou’s story is the most captivating because it is about fear, while Amy Tan’s story is about assimilating a different culture. This has made Angelou more courageous.
What both of these characters fought and strived for came to be true presently. Although, many little achievements were met, their ultimate goals became a success. Angelou tells about the people in an individual's life, presently and from the past. They went through and overcame struggles, working hard for future generations to be free as analyzed within one of the many quotes, “ But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, come, you may stand upon my and face your distant destiny, but seek no haven in my shadow” (Angelou 9-12). One individual who could play an example of one of the symbolic images Angelou describes is Stanton. “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation on the part of man toward women…” (Stanton 112). Stantons use of diction displays her hard work and determination to fight for women that eventually lead to achieving her goal. According to Angelou it's about hard work of others that keep a lasting impact to this day and with it one can achieve success; Stanton preaches hard work now to later achieve one's ultimate