Paul Laurence Dunbar We Wear The Mask

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Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem, "We Wear the Mask," delivers a poignant message in fifteen brief lines. On one hand, the poem pays tribute to the historical struggles of African-Americans. Specifically, Dunbar explores the thought that many African-Americans disguised their true feelings during the racially tumultuous period between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. His moving words suggest that the African-American community of this time often wore "the mask that grins and lies" to avoid drawing unwanted attention to themselves. On the other hand, the words in Dunbar's poem apply not just to the struggles of the African-American population. Instead, the words pertain to all people in all levels of
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