Prejudice In Maya Angelou's Between The World And Me

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In “On the Pulse of Morning”, Maya Angelou talks about how in order to alleviate the inequalities of this world, society can no longer turn their “face[s] down in ignorance” (Angelou 18) and must stop their hatred and come together as equals. In “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Coates talks about racial prejudice and how this affects a large mass of the populace. This lack of understanding is what, in “Half-Hanged Mary”, allows Mary to be persecuted for witchcraft, even though Mary only tried to help the people of her village. “Between the World and Me” discusses the types of prejudice that people face on racial terms, but this is not at all different from the types of prejudice that people face on gender terms. If prejudice…show more content…
But all the men of the village couldn’t see through their fear and hate as the fact that she was a witch. They didn’t understand how a woman could be strong and independent as she was in their time period so they feared her. Lastly, as she is about to die she almost accepts death and calls it, “A temptation, to sink down / into these definitions. /To become a martyr in reverse,” (95-97). She doesn’t want to become the sacrifice of the village, and in the end doesn’t, but after talking to the ‘dark feathered angel’ she winds up abandoning the village and ‘becomes the witch that she wasn’t before.’ In “Between the World and Me”, Coates discusses this exact situation. Coates says “Hate gives identity. The nigger, the fag, the bitch illuminate the border, illuminate what we ostensibly are not, illuminate the Dream of being white, of being a Man. We name the hated strangers and are thus confirmed in the tribe” (Coates ). Mary rejects the village and accepts her identity as a witch. Since she was rejected by her village, she in turn rejects them and gives up on unifying the people even though that was once her reason for living. She has given up on her mission to bring people together because even this gender based prejudice was too much for her to

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