Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts
Let us come together and revise our spirits,
Let us come together and cleanse our souls,
Clap hands, let’s leave the preening
And stop impostering our own history. (“Million Man March Poem” 40-44).
The repetition of the phrase “Let us come together”, though it has a positive connotation, creates the feeling that there is a large number of tasks the reader must complete in order for equality to be realized. After all, the Million Man March was just that: a meeting of African Americans to “come together” to “demonstrate to the world a positive image of African-American[s]” (“Million Man March Poem”, 2011, 1). This stanza of the poem is joyful, but the reader cannot help but feel that there is so much to be done before the injustice ends. When Angelou mentions that African Americans need to “stop impostering [their] own history”, she means that they must accept the past and learn from it, not attempt to hide it. Earlier in the poem, Angelou uses alliteration to add rhythm to the poem, pairing it with the dark subject matter she describes. The narrator takes the form of a slave hundreds of years ago and describes a scene “under a dead blue sky on a distant beach, / [in which she] was dragged by [her] braids just beyond [her family’s] reach” (“Million Man March Poem” 10-12). Angelou alternates the hard sound of “...
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...ld as it was hundreds of years ago. During the times of slavery, African Americans were physically oppressed by cruel people who could not comprehend even the most basic ideas about human rights. Although there is clearly a problem, many Americans choose to ignore the issue of race relations and pretend that there is nothing wrong. Angelou’s works point out the strength and pride that African Americans have in their culture, describing how these characteristics have brought them together to fight for their equality. More important, however, is the connection that she brings from the anguish caused by the past that is still felt each and every day. Her poetry, full of raw emotion, serves as a bridge between past and present, bringing with it the warning that the oppression will continue unless everyone can recognize it and work to put an end to it once and for all.
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