Prejudice And Racism In Maya Angelou's Graduation

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In Maya Angelou’s’ autobiography there is a chapter entitled Graduation, a recount of her eighth-grade graduation from a blacks only grammar school In Arkansas. This story holds many subtle, and sometimes blunt, recounts of Racism and prejudice that Angelou encountered as a young girl growing up in Arkansas. She uses many instances of symbolism to help illustrate to the reader how she felt back then, or to express how she feels today, looking back on that time of her life. The tone and its changes, along with the different ways she applies symbolism, gives a great account of what if was like to be a young black girl in a word ruled by white men.
 The tone of Graduation begins as anyone would expect it to be for a child's eighth-grade graduation, happy, joyful and optimistic of the future. However, as soon as the white speaker, Mr. Edward Donleavy, was announced as the speaker of the night, the tone suddenly changed from that of joy and optimism to one of hate, anger, and a sense of being trapped or doomed. The…show more content…
She is telling us that all the years of being snubbed out by the white school are over. These years simply do not matter anymore because she is now graduating, just like someone from the white school. They are equal in that sense now. Now this does not mean that she thinks they are equal in the eyes of society as a whole. She knows that blacks were persecuted and kept as slaves for a very long time, but, finally the day came where, legally, slavery was no longer allowed, but yet the “hanging ropes of parasitic moss” are still left, even after this step forward, never to be forgotten. Just because blacks are no longer hung does not mean that the past is forgotten, it may fade but it will never go
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