Multicultural Literature: The Effect On Society And The Future

1206 words - 5 pages

In ever-changing times, it is important to look to the future in order to prepare for what is to come. However, it is also important to look back and see what people have accomplished. It is essential for people to feel pride for the triumphs, and determination to improve the shortcomings. This way, there will always be room for positive growth. Researchers of multicultural literature, Jocelyn Glazier and Jung-A Seo, have defined this denomination of literature “as literature that represents voices typically omitted from the traditional canon”(Buss). Multiculturalism and multicultural literature have grown from the histories of numerous nations, all hoping to better integrate and understand ...view middle of the document...

There is a mainstream version of thinking that must be branched out from, allowing children to form their own ideas (Banks). All of these preparations help to ensure that the next generations of Americans will be courteous and kind. It is also important to continue the ideals through adolescence and into adulthood. Maya Angelou, a poet and writer, teaches people of various ages all over the world the main elements of multiculturalism: the importance of self-worth, motivation, and the power of determination that will help to create deeper understanding between races.
In her poem, Still I Rise, Angelou discusses the racism, sexism, and criticism that has impacted her life and the lives of countless other Americans. Through her writing, Angelou creates a greater sense of acceptance and peace among people of varying races, thus encompassing the true meaning of Multicultural Literature. Maya Angelou gives sound to those voices as she explores the concept of slavery, mentioning a “past of pain” that she has broken away from and thanking her ancestors that gave her a life of freedom. The poem is written from Angelou’s perspective as she speaks to her oppressors, telling them of the obstacles she has overcome and encouraging others to stand up for their rights as well. The rhyme in every other line guides readers to the words “I rise” and “Still I rise” show that the author continues to overcome everything that stands in her way. Imagery is used copiously as Angelou says, “I walk like I’ve got oil wells… Pumping in my living room”(Angelou, line 7). There are also several mentions of air and dust rising. This is an important detail because, in order for dust to rise, it must be unsettled by something. Once it is unsettled, the dust can rise up and leave, moving on to new and better things. When applied to Angelou’s work, it becomes clear that she is writing about things she has overcome. She is also referring to the obstacles and her oppressors on the ground and how she is rising above them all, unsettling and defying the despotism (Still). This comparison relates back to slavery and the Black Power movement because once African Americans started to assert themselves, they were able to create a more fulfilling life. The poem is somewhat serious, but Angelou brings in her pride at being an African American woman and inserts playful ideas into the work while questioning her oppressors. The lines that have questions in them show the forthright relationship between Angelou and the readers. This allows the audience to put themselves in the midst of the discussion and the heart of the poem....

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