Maya Angelou

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Still I Rise by Maya Angelou tells the oppression of African Americans by white supremacists through the Social Class lens. The two social classes described in this work are the whites and the blacks. Angelou, being the representative of the oppressed blacks, is mindful of the discrimination. She conveys influential words that will drive history. Maya Angelou is a symbol of the African Americans. “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.” (Angelou 40). This line suggests that she is the voice of the blacks. She defends not only herself, but she speaks the feelings of her race. With her outspoken tone, Angelou is a strong and proud figure. Nothing will faze her even if they “may trod [her] in the very dirt.” (Angelou 3). She has a dream, like…show more content…
The society resided on white supremacy even after the abolishment of slavery. Politically, economically, and socially- the whites overshadowed everything. Non-whites were inferior because they did not have political power. Economically, they were poor and their social status was at the bottom. They were treated negatively because of how different they were from the whites. In the poem, the upper class consist of white peoples. They asserted all the power and authority. “You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies,” (Angelou 1-2). These lines indicate how much the whites can do. Showing no sympathy, they can rewrite history in their own words. They have the power to do anything- they can create laws to prevent equality, etc. With any scheme, the whites can segregate the blacks and easily be…show more content…
They are an example of class misery because of how brutally treated they are by the whites. “You may shoot me with your words, / You may cut me with your eyes, / You may kill me with your hatefulness” (Angelou 21-23). They are verbally and physically abused. This depicts how much the blacks are dominated by their oppressors. “Did you want to see me broken? / Bowed head and lowered eyes? / Shoulders falling down like teardrops, / Weakened by my soulful cries? (Angelou 13-16). They are enforced to show respect to those who hurt them. Attacked by the white oppressors, they live in “nights of terror and fear” (Angelou 35). Crushed, they cower in fear. As a result of the conflict between the two sides, class consciousness is shown. Class consciousness is when the distressed group is aware that a revolution is needed. “Out of the huts of history’s shame / I rise / Up from a past that’s rooted in pain / I rise / I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, / Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.” (Angelou 29-34). The entire African American race is represented by the black ocean. Repeating several times in the poem, “I rise”, means that they will fight together for a change even if the whites bring them down. They are changing history till they are free of

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