The African American Experience

Essay by MISSAWCollege, UndergraduateB, March 2008

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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...