I Too Sing America Essay

Introduction Black civil rights campaigner, Jesse Jackson, once said, "I am black and I am beautiful..I must be respected." In their poems 'Still I Rise' and 'I, too, Sing America', Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes also illustrate the idea of celebrating black pride to overcome racism.Through the use of metaphor, repetition and symbolism in their respective poems they show the reader the significance of the African American struggle for equality.

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In the line "I, too, sing America" he is explaining that he is an American like everyone else in the country, but he is only of a darker skin color as he follows up in line two with "I am the darker brother." He says that even though he is of another color he is still an American and he should not be treated any differently from any other American.

When looking at the poem, Hughes expresses the pride that he has in his heritage and in who he is.

The rhyming line, "welling and swelling", symbolises the "past that's rooted in pain" of the black people - how they have been hurt, bruised and destroyed by the "hatefulness" expressed towards them, and the "swelling" of these bruises has still not fully faded. Middle Like Angelou, Hughes also comes from a background of inferiority.

He wrote the poem, 'I, too, Sing America' in the 1930s, a time when blacks were treated as slaves and were seen as the property of white men.

They show the reader that we need to overcome our prejudices and look for the good in people because when we finally see it, we will be ashamed that we didn't see it earlier.

In 'Still I Rise' and 'I, too, Sing America' Hughes and Angelou allow us to learn from their unique black history, and how the black race were able to triumph over injustice in society in order to gain freedom and equality.Through the effective use of language techniques they inspire the reader to be victorious over our own personal struggles, and also to rise above the prejudice in society to see the good in everybody. An essay that shows a very strong understanding of the social and historical contexts that impacted both pieces of writing.A title with a specific reference to context would have been a good focus for this essay.In 'Still I Rise', Maya Angelou illustrates how the black race are battling to overcome the racism and hardship of their past.She employs the extended metaphor of the wave, "I'm a black ocean", to show how the black race have been oppressed, just like a tide is pushed back; but they have come back stronger, like waves that crash back to the shore.He says, "They send me to eat in the kitchen" to show how "they", being the whites, have control over him (the persona of the poem). Conclusion America, being a symbol of freedom, dreams for the future and most of all, equality.Both Hughes and Angelou urge the reader to look past the facade of skin colour and embrace our "black brother".This metaphor refers to the fact that in the 1930s blacks were not considered a part of the American 'family' by whites; they were shunned and abused, creating a division between white and black society.The imbalance between the races is highlighted by Hughes' use of personal pronouns.However, line four reads "but I laugh, and eat well.And grow strong." This line truly reveals that when he was treated differently, it did not hurt him but made him stronger.


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