King’s speech called for equal treatment among all Americans, not just African Americans, and underlined the significance of unity as one nation. Dr. King alluded to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as one of the most important documents in U.S. history. As King stated, “This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.” This quote demonstrates how the Emancipation Proclamation freed all of America’s slaves from the brutality and injustice that was brought upon them. After this decree, African Americans were now granted with full U.S. citizenship, but were still severely discriminated. This allusion signified the obstacles that former slaves were still facing after the end of slavery.
She began writing and publishing as a teenager eventually achieving national fame for her 1945 collection “A Street In Bronzeville”, she was a postwar poet. She wrote during the Civil Rights activism period. Gwendolyn Brooks wrote thirty-nine poems and they were mostly about Racism, Feminism, and the struggles and celebrations of ordinary people from her own community. She responded to major events during her lifetime including the World War II struggle for civil rights, and race riots. Gwendolyn was born June 7th 1917 in Topeka, Kansas , she had multiple abortions in her poem “ The Mother” she tells her unborn children that she loved them.
Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation” (Nobelprize.org, para. 2). The previously stated article also mentions that Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in the civil rights movement. The purpose of this paper is to talk about Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech and how it discusses the racism, diversity, and equality. Racism in Our Society (racism) In the beginning of Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, Dr. King mentions that the Blacks were had finally become free from slavery after the Emancipation Proclamation, but years later they still were not truly free (King, 1963).
She wrote a number of songs which became anthems for the cause such as "Young, Gifted and Black," borrowing the title of a play by Hansberry and "Four Women," which she penned chronicling the complex histories of a quartet of African-American female figures. Legend has it that Simone took anywhere between twenty minutes and an hour to write one of her most defining works in response to the 1963 assassination of Medgar Evers and the Birmingham church bombing, “Mississippi Goddamn”- a song that became the anthem in the 1960s protests repertoire. This song represented the views and opinions that many black people had but feared to express. For Simone, who lived next door to Malcolm X in Mt. Vernon, New York, and whose first interaction with Martin Luther King, Jr. involved a heated declaration that her activism was on the “by any means necessary” part of the scale, the tune bore none of the turn-the-other-cheek wholesomeness of other protest songs.
A young Billie Holiday was sent to live with her cousin and great grandmother. Her great-grandmother had been a slave, and she would ‘converse with the young girl for hours about plantation life and how it felt to be owned “body and soul by a white man”’ (King 1990, pg. 23). These early experiences of racial troubles not only shaped Holiday’s understanding of racial conflict, but formed the roots of her music which would later reflect the themes of social injustice and racism. The stunningly emotive tone which she possessed allowed the listener to feel the emotions being sung for themselves, which made Holiday truly special, and perhaps the most pivotal moment in her career using this emotive quality in her voice to inspire pain in others was the song ‘Strange Fruit’, which she recorded in 1939.
We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity — a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world. We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free. Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.” Mandela emphasizes liberation, hope, equality and many other emotions throughout the speech.
Resistance to oppression is a fluid theme throughout these two works of literature, Angelou in Still I rise, An ode to the power that brews in us all to overcome our most difficult circumstances, and is truly an inspiration to all homestayers in the sixties no matter Their race. “She speaks not only for herself but also for her gender and race. This extension of self occurs in Angelou's autobiographies and protest poetry” (Hagen 118). Her status as being a powerful black woman in the house, portrays her self confidence to override anything that puts her down as she will always exceed to rise up. While on the other hand Susan Rawlings in To Room Nineteen saw suicide as her only outlet to her lack of freedom in her marriage.
The autobiography has details about Douglass’s life and the things he strived for as the slave. The authors of both texts show characterization by using hope and dedication to represent the theme of freedom. Dedication is the act of where commitment is involved without stopping. To be dedicated to something, a lot of effort is made to achieve the goal and giving up is not an option. Harriet Tubman was extremely dedicated to freeing slaves.
They have not only “…been abused by white men…” (Matus, 119), but also they begin to lose their humanity. Even, the black people aren’t given permission to learn writing and reading. It is clear that “…if blacks could write they should not be treated as animals” (Rice, 103). The female characters in the novel, especially Baby Suggs is brave to mention the inhuman acts of white race in her community. “Those white things have taken all I had or dreamt, “she said, “and broke my heartstrings, too.
Rising Above Oppression Being different and having fear of rejection is something we all experience at some point. “Still I Rise,” a poem written by Maya Angelou in 1978, expounds the indomitable spirit of African Americans, who have risen from slavery and every kind of humiliation. In it, the writer uses the motif of the image pattern “I Rise” to illustrate the way people have overcome great obstacles and oppression with enduring pride and grace, retaliating against discrimination of races and gender, and offering hope to the readers suffering from the same ordeal. In “Still I Rise,” Angelou speaks not only for herself; in fact, the poem 's scope is not limited to one person but to all the downtrodden individuals. The poetry critic Ellen McGeagh states: “This extension of self occurs in Angelou’s autobiographies and protest poetry” (McGeagh 28).