In her poem, she capitalizes the words Savior, Christians, and Cain, because her objective is to reach out to true Christians. By using bible text she displays an intelligent and well cultured voice, which she earns respect from her audience – in this case everyone. This short, but powerful poem about slavery amazed people, because it was considered unbelievable that a slave girl could write. Phillis Wheatley is all about change. She changed her country, her name, her religion, and her whole life.
I believe that Phillis Wheatley’s intent in writing “On being Brought from Africa to America” was conscious. I believe that she was fully aware about what she’s writing. I say that because on line 4 “Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.” she writes from her personal experience by using “I” in her poetry. She talks about her own experience on brought to America as a slave.
The idiosyncratic style Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass depicts the discriminatory actions of postcolonial slave owners in the southern United States, which reflects their greed for unpaid labor on their plantations. He employs the metaphor of the book that their masters prohibited them from owning by law throughout the memoir to demonstrate the avarice that drives white slave owners to turn a darker-skinned, intelligent being into a machine for personal benefit for centuries after the colonization of America. Also, the irony further displays the power of greed by expressing the slaveholder’s uncivilized method of forcing another human out of civilization. Furthermore, his use of a paradox of the use of pure religious beliefs to justify a slaveholder’s inhumane treatment reveals their rapacious actions that contradict the teachings of the church.
You take Yong Goodman Brown, a man living in an area and time where it is deeply rooted in their Christian beliefs. Then you have Phillis Wheatley who is an African slave who is writing to privileged white men in Cambridge. Both are planted firmly in their Christian faith and the difference is one of them is a slave, and the other one is a free man with a wife and family. Yet, after reading Young Goodman Brown, it seems that only one of them
In addition to establishing himself as a credible narrator and using anecdotes with repetitive diction and imagery, Douglass also highlights how religion was enforced in slavery. Every slave owner that Douglass belonged to was hypocritical and deceival towards their faith. This is frequently used through all his anecdotes to persuade the reader that slavery is full of non-sense and that the “devoted, peaceful, just, and kind owners” were full of lies. “He seemed to think himself equal to deceiving the Almighty. He would make a short prayer in the morning, and a long prayer at night; and, strange as it may seem, few men would at times appear more devotional than he…
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.
To understand the real meaning of a literary work, we need to look into the meaning of each word and why the author has chosen these particular words and not different ones. Close reading of literary works helps us understand the author’s thinking and understanding of the time they lied in. One of the American poet and author of the 18th century, Phillis Wheatley, she was one of the most famous poets who changed the life of most Americans. Wheatley’s most famous poem is “On Being Brought from Africa to America”. To look in more detail into this specific poem, first thing is the language that she uses, second the form and style of the poem, and lastly what message she is trying to get to her audience.
Douglass is relentless when attacking the church, he states, “The American Church is Guilty” (Douglass 1039). This has a slightly taste of irony, because here Douglass, a colored man, is calling out the most “sacred” body of people. It almost as if he was the master and they were the slave now. Next, the main theme expressed by
The book draws on a variety of scholarship across numerous fields, including African American history, women’s history, colonial American history, feminist theory, and cultural studies. As a professor of both Social and Cultural Analysis as well as History, with research interests in the history of the Black Atlantic World, comparative slavery, and gender and sexuality studies, Morgan is clearly quite adept at working with the intersection of such ideas. She also articulates the necessity of employing such a range of fields to fill the surprising gaps and omissions in the current
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.
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.
In Albert Raboteau’s Slave Religion, I expected to read a book dripping with rant-filled commentary. Judging the book solely on its cover, I would not normally pick up –or even read– a book that did not jump out at me from the design on the cover, and this book did not jump out. However, Raboteau’s depiction of the life of the slave did jump out at me. In elementary and high school, teachers briefly touch on the topic of slavery and its role in America, but religion is never touched on with slavery –at least my teachers never taught them together. So finally getting to learn the two side by side, it was fascinating to see how Africans created a version of their own religion of Christianity.
An engraving by Patrick Reason illustrates an African American woman in chains, with the inscription “Am I not a Woman and Sister?” in Document C, where the woman is shown pleading to be seen and listened to, where white women wanted suffrage and African American women still looked towards their taken freedom praying to be free. In the American society at this point in time African American women were at the bottom of the society’s hierarchical pyramid. Immigrants fought for the possibility for their success in
Throughout the course of African American Experience in Literature, various cultural, historical, and social aspects are explored. Starting in the 16th century, Africa prior to Colonization, to the Black Arts Movement and Contemporary voice, it touches the development and contributions of African American writers from several genres of literature. Thru these developments, certain themes are constantly showing up and repeating as a way to reinforce their significances. Few of the prominent ideas in the readings offer in this this course are the act of be caution and the warnings the authors try to portray. The big message is for the readers to live and learn from experiences.
To be a woman of color, took bravery along with containing the characteristic grace and patience. A woman who was dark skinned, and obtained harsh conditions without an explanation forced to their will, putting their life in jeopardy without a flinch was a Saint. A Saint of creation for an artistic lifestyle, with all the above characteristics of being a heroine for the future. “Black women whose spiritually was so intense, so deep, so unconscious, that they were themselves unaware of the richness they had”, expressed poet Jean Toomer with that discovery of walking the south in the twenties. A time in American History, in which makes me disgusted to know the land we stand on uprose with slavery.