Slavery and Freedom
Equiano, unlike other autobiographers, attributes his sense of self to the joys, sorrows, and lessons learned in his former experience as a slave. His differentiation from aboriginal American authors positively affects my understanding of the formation of identity among blacks since I relate to his real experience in Liberia and America as a former slave.
Phillis Wheatley, Toni Morris, W.E.B Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Richard Wright, and Gwendolyn Brooks are key African American authors who wrote after reconstruction. Toni Morrison uses literature to respond to the white supremacy and lynching of emigrant Americans by highlighting the racial segregation experienced by this bourgeoisie in the Harlem renaissance (Goulimari 1).
Langston Hughes focuses on the theme of oppression. He illustrates, “Dig and be dug in return” (Hughes 1). Second, he capitalizes on the theme of liberty. He declares, “Let the rain kiss you” (Hughes 1) to signify hope for emigrant societies in America. Third, he forecasts the theme of brutality through the words, “human blood in human veins”.
From Emmet Till’s murder, Americans were compelled to witness retaliation from black societies in the Jim Crow South. Additionally, the Bryant Grocery closed after Till’s court trial due to intense pressures for justice from neighboring black communities. Lastly, white supremacist civic organizations were silenced by incoming pressure from the black movement led by Martin Luther King.
In Nikki Giovanni’s poetry, phrases such as, “For all the mothers who cried, ” (Giovanni 1) and “all the people who said never again” (Giovanni 1)) can be argued to depict military disposition. These words signify strong resistance from afflicted groups alternating to resistance from assailant groups.
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Alice Walker’s introspective on black women's exploitation implores the women’s religious insignificance during the era since black women were presumed illiterate without cultural holdings. In terms of sexism and gender roles, black women were sexually exploited by malevolent white men and accorded housework roles. Compared to white women, black women were racially segregated and mocked “ugly” to demonstrate their inferiority to the latter.