The African American Experience Essay

1485 words - 6 pages

The African American Experience Throughout the readings, there are evident comparisons between all of their plots. "Learning to read," by Fredrick Douglas showed the reader that there was a struggle for the slaves back in the 1860's to try to succeed and learn to read and write behind their owner's back. The song " keep Ya Head Up," by TuPac Shakur, lets us hear how people treat and African American women and how they are raped, and are treated as a piece of property rather then human beings. The short poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, " We Real Cool," describes the lives of the African Americans in the 1860's in about ten short lines. "Discovering Country," by Patricia Smith illustrated the dream and fantasies that the Negro's had during the struggle of racism and the poem was written to Emmett Till. Music also was a way to demonstrate how people's lives were led and how music communicated to others like Sonny did in "Sonny's Blues," by James Baldwin. Last but certainly not least was a piece written by Maya Angelou "Graduation," where a young girl's point of view was diminished by a white man's speech moments before her high school graduation. The African American experience was a harsh era because it diminished the black race.All the way through the African American experience music was always there to keep people sane as it was a way to communicate. In "Sonny's Blues," by James Baldwin, Sonny had a heroin addiction, but he kept sane through paying jazz. It was hard for his brother, the un-identified speaker throughout the story, to relate to Sonny because they never grew up on the same page until the end of the story where Sonny took him to the club he played at and showed him what jazz did to him. Jazz kept him sensible and alive and the crowd he played for loved his appearance and music.In the song "Keep Ya Head up," by Tupac Shakur, Tupac raped about how women were being diminished, for they were getting pregnant and the baby's then had no father figure because the father would run away. Throughout the song he tries to show respect for women as he asks us why we disrespect women if they were the ones that made us. He then shifts the topic from women to the needy African Americans like himself and his family. " They got money for war but can't feed the poor" (Tupac 408). That quote illustrates to the reader that the government has billions of dollars for war but can't help its own nation and the African Americans. In both, the song, " Keep Ya Head Up," and the story, "Sonny's Blues," show us that music kept people sane and helped them deal with the struggle, and was a way to deliver a vision to others.During the 1860's and the African American Experience, the African Americans were always faithful and optimistic; This is shown in two writings, "Learning To Read," by Fredrick Douglass and by Maya Angelou in, "Graduation." In "Learning To Read" the slave owner taught her slave to read and write. She was a very nice slave owner and was very warm...

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