Phillis Wheatley’s poem “On Being Brought from Africa to America” is a message about Christianity and salvation. The audience of Wheatley’s message is her fellow Christian slaves, a reminder that salvation is attainable regardless of race and stature. “On Being Brought from Africa to America” opens with a recount of Wheatley’s experience on being introduced to Christianity, the religion that opened her eyes to the possibility of salvation. Wheatley continues the poem by reminding her audience that contrary to the views and beliefs of the slave-owners, people that consider the slaves as “diabolic,” that even their race were able to find redemption through Christianity (Wheatley 6). In the poem “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” Phillis …show more content…
The poem begins with Wheatley’s statement that is “Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land / Taught my benighted soul to understand / That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too” (Wheatley 1-3). In the first of these lines, Wheatley accredits her journey from her home in Africa into slavery in America to the personification of “mercy” with an appreciative tone (Wheatley 1). This tone is due to Wheatley’s realization that this transition “taught her benighted” about the redemption that once she “never sought nor knew” (Wheatley 2; Wheatley 4). Africa, the “Pagan land” that Wheatley is taken from, never offered her with the possibility of redemption because there was no Christianity, so if Wheatley had never been taken to become a slave in America she would have never learned about God (Wheatley 1). Wheatley expresses gratitude towards the people that removed her from her home into slavery in an unknown country because it opened her darkened soul to the possibility of redemption through her acquired knowledge of God through …show more content…
This audience is certainly Wheatley’s fellow slaves, as she states that “Some view our sable race with scornful eye, / ‘Their colour is a diabolic die” (Wheatley 5-6). Wheatley referral to her audience as “our sable race,” meaning our black race, demonstrates that she is addressing her fellow slaves through this poem, as well as the quote from the slave-owners that mentioned their “colour” (Wheatley 5-6). Furthermore, Wheatley states in the poem to “Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain, / May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train” (Wheatley 7-8). In these last lines of the poem, Wheatley shows that she is addressing those slaves that have embraced the religion of Christianity, and as long as they believe this religion and know God, they will be able to “join th’ angleic train” (Wheatley 8). This is the ultimate message of the poem “On Being Brought from Africa to America” to remember that Christianity offers salvation and redemption even to those of Wheatley’s “sable race,” black slaves (Wheatley
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The Cross and the Lynching Tree The Cross and the Lynching tree is a recent work from James H. Cone. Currently a Systematic Theology professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he is renowned as a founder of black liberation theology. In this book, he reflects on the most brutal chapter of white racism in the 20th century America where 5,000 innocent blacks were lynched to death by white mobs. And he tells us how blacks were able to survive the unspeakable reality of violence and torture with faith and hope in Christ.
Evangelical preachers, in keeping with their social doctrine that targeted the disadvantaged in society, attempted to convert slaves and Native Americans. Prior to the Awakening no one had made a serious effort at their conversion for fear that Christianity was “a step towards freedom” (357). Slaves attended evangelical sermons en masse, wary of the Anglican ministers who supported their masters. Evangelical Christianity offered moments of release and equality from the perpetual suffering of a slave’s life. This did not mean, however, that the evangelists actively opposed slavery.
Christianity was, to the slaves of America, (something with a double meaning). In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave, Frederick Douglass, the author, argues about how Christianity can mean one thing to a free white man and something completely different to a black slave. The slave owners follow the ‘Christianity of the Land’ while the slaves follow the ‘Christianity of Christ.’ Frederick begins to build his credibility to a, white, northern, audience by including documents from trustworthy writers and by getting into personal experiences through his writing. Throughout the narrative, he is articulate in how he writes, and it shows the reader that he is well educated.
In “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” there are many ironic actions related to religion. Douglass does his best to give us personal accounts of events he witnessed. Douglass also gives the reader a better understanding of how slaves were treated and how many people backed up their actions with
Throughout his narrative, Douglass’s descriptions of the white slaveholders expose the Christian hypocrisy found in the American slave system. Douglass first does so by exposing how the lesson taught by Christians to help those in need is contradicted by the experiences Douglass has especially with hunger. Douglass reflects on these experiences when he states that for the “first time during a space of more than seven years” feeling the effects of the “painful gnawing’s of hunger…” (54). This event shows the Christians’ lessons of selflessness and kindness is hypocritical as they treat their fellow humans as subhuman. The Christians at the time rely on scripture to make a case for slavery in America.
In 1971, Alvin Ailey choreographed Cry, a three part work solo dance set to gospel music that describes an emotional journey filled with struggle, hardships, defeat, survival and joy. It was intended as a birthday present to Alvin’s mother and a dedication to all black women everywhere. The first part of the dance is the struggle of trying to maintain pride irrespective of the opposition faced from outside. The second part reveals the sorrow within after the woman’s pride has been shattered into pieces and finally the third part is a spirited celebration of finding strength and joy in God. Even though cry was dedicated to only black women, i argue the notion that all women both black and white of the nineteenth century could relate
I. Introductory Paragraph and Thesis Statement Phillis Wheatley has changed the world of the literature and poetry for the better with her groundbreaking advancements for women and African Americans alike, despite the many challenges she faced. By being a voice for those who can not speak for themselves, Phillis Wheatley has given life to a new era of literature for all to create and enjoy. Without Wheatley’s ingenious writing based off of her grueling and sorrowful life, many poets and writers of today’s culture may not exist. Despite all of the odds stacked against her, Phillis Wheatley prevailed and made a difference in the world that would shape the world of writing and poetry for the better. II.
Within Ellis Island by Joseph Bruchac, On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley, and Europe and America by David Ignatow there are different views of what the American Dream is and what it means to immigrants. Each author writes about their own experience of immigration and life in America, which shapes their view of the American dream. The common theme between the three poems is the variable nature of the American dream and how it has different meanings for each person coinciding with contradictions between leisure and suffering.
Auld’s misinterpretation of the passage emphasizes slave owners use of religion to reinforce their power over their slaves. Christianity rationalized the concept of buying and selling human beings, and that God approved this too. In addition, Douglass used religion as a way to fuel his abolition movement. Under Master Hugh’s, Douglass began to learn how to read and write. Once
Allen Dwight Callahan’s The Talking Book: African Americans and the Bible connects biblical stories and images to the politics, music and, religion, the book shows how important the Bible is to black culture. African Americans first came to know the Bible because of slavery and at that time the religious groups would read it to them instead of teaching them by letting them encounter it for themselves. Later the Bibles stories became the source of spirituals and songs, and after the Civil War motivation for learning to read. Allen Callahan traces the Bible culture that developed during and following enslavement. He identifies the most important biblical images for African Americans, Exile, Exodus, Ethiopia, and Emmanuel and discusses their recurrence and the relationship they have with African Americans and African American culture.
Could there be contrasts and likenesses between two accounts composed by two unique individuals? Confronting various types of afflictions? It is conceivable to discover contrasts and likenesses in two stories relating two various types of occasions? Imprisonment accounts were main stream with pursuers in both America and the European continents. Bondage stories of Americans relate the encounters of whites subjugated by Native Americans and Africans oppressed by early American settlers.
Religious Effects Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phyllis Wheatley was the first book to be published by a black American, and “On being brought from Africa to America” was probably one of the most famous poems included in the book. It discusses Wheatley’s experience of being taken as a slave, and the religious effects of the experience. Religion played a great role in shaping Wheatley’s outlook on many subjects. “On being brought from Africa to America” expresses religion’s effect on Wheatley through her word choices and the overall message of the poem.
In Phillis Wheatley’s To S.M., a Young African Painter, the reader can easily assume that Wheatley is expressing her opinion on the beauty of Scipio Moorhead’s paintings. The poem seems to discuss Wheatley’s appreciation for another African-American artist like herself. However, after looking closely at word choice, visual imagery, and deviation from the rhyme scheme one can see that there is much more going on in this poem. Wheatley addresses not only her thoughts on S.M.’s works, but also religion, immortality, race, and freedom. Looking at this poem more in-depth is important because it will allow the reader to better understand the poem’s meaning.
In 1773, there were slaves all over colonial America working in plantations, and cleaning their masters houses. It wasn’t common for a slave to be writing poetry with their owners consent. Phyllis Wheatley’s success as the first African American published poet was what inspired generations to tell her story. It was her intellectual mind and point of view that made her different from others, both black and white. Phyllis’s story broke the barrier for all African American writers, and proved that no matter the gender or race, all human beings are capable of having an intelligent state of mind.
Metaphors are an influential piece to the literary world due to, “the process of using symbols to know reality occurs”, stated by rhetoric Sonja Foss in Metaphoric Criticism. The significance of this, implies metaphors are “central to thought and to our knowledge and expectation of reality” (Foss 188). Although others may see metaphors as a difficult expression. Metaphors provide the ability to view a specific content and relate to connect with involvement, a physical connection to view the context with clarity. As so used in Alice Walker’s literary piece, In Search Of Our Mothers’ Gardens.