Poems about slavery and racism
Day To End Racism Quotes (4 quotes)
Life Aboard a Slave Ship - History
Poetry and the Civil Rights Movement
It is the one genre of literature that does not hold itself to a predetermined standard upon which the postmodern as in the theory, not as in the time minds can muddle together an amalgamation of text to form something novel. It is a genre of literature in which we look upon ourselves and our own childhood imaginations for inspiration. As such it is capable of taking us to the most beautiful places we could never imagine and so too can the pages turn as equally dark. Marilyn Nelson creates A Wreath for Emmett Till almost two hundred years after Phillis Wheatley yet somehow they deal with the darkness engulfing their respective social arenas in a similar fashion. Form plays a very important role in the life of Wheatley wherein her freedom in slavery had become a meter of constraint, so too does Nelson deal with the murder of Emmett Till, using form to adequately convey this raw set of emotions to an audience of young adults.
Trudier Harris J. Given the secondary position of persons of African descent throughout their history in America, it could reasonably be argued that all efforts of creative writers from that group are forms of protest. However, for purposes of this discussion, Defining African American protest poetry some parameters might be drawn. First—a definition. Protest, as used herein, refers to the practice within African American literature of bringing redress to the secondary status of black people, of attempting to achieve the acceptance of black people into the larger American body politic, of encouraging practitioners of democracy truly to live up to what democratic ideals on American soil mean. Protest literature consists of a variety of approaches, from the earliest literary efforts to contemporary times. These include articulating the plight of enslaved persons, challenging the larger white community to change its attitude toward those persons, and providing specific reference points for the nature of the complaints presented.
Hughes captures the African American's historical journey to America in what is perhaps his signature poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Du Bois and using water or the river as a metaphor for the source of life, the poem traces the movement of black life from the Euphrates and Nile rivers in Africa to the Mississippi. Hughes subtly couches his admonishment of slavery and racism in the refrain "My soul has grown deep like the rivers. The second and only other time the line appears in the poem occurs after the poet has made reference to Mississippi, New Orleans, and Abe Lincoln. He places the lines "My soul has grown deep like the rivers" at the end of the poem, this time suggesting that he is no longer the same man who "bathed in the Euphrates" and "built [his] hut near the Congo.