The Walls Have Been Steep Essay Research

The Walls Have Been Steep Essay, Research Paper

The Walls Have Been Steep:

Recovery of the American-African Male/Female Relationship

Maya Angelou? s extraordinary ability to show so clearly the historic and modern-day hurting, love, and civilization of American-Africans is unparalleled in poetic literature. Her superb usage of imagination is one of the many aspects of her authorship that has propelled her to be recognized as one of the greatest poets of our clip. The verse form she read at the Million Man March called? The Night Has Been Long, ? is a fantastic illustration of this alone usage of imagination. It leads the reader to believe that Angelou has really experienced and truly experience what she is composing about though in many instances her art goes beyond personal experience. Maya Angelou can arouse any feeling she desires the reader to possess with a few singular shots of a pen. In this peculiar verse form Angelou articulately inside informations the problem/situation of black work forces and adult females in America and so brings forth solutions for the riddance of the problem/correction of the state of affairs.

The really first stanza presents the reader with a fitting mention to the experience of black/American-African people. ? The dark has been long/The lesion has been deep/The cavity has been dark/And the walls have been steep. ? ( Stanza 1 Angelou ) Specifically, this stanza describes the American-African experience as an agonizingly long, painful, awful, and hard experience in general therefore far. Many writers have more than adequately depicted this same thought, but non rather like Maya Angelou. Her autobiography is an first-class illustration of her gift for flooring pragmatism and a type of imagination that makes it easy to understand the clip and civilization in which she grew up.

In the 2nd stanza Angelou provides the reader with a scene that focuses on the existent theme/issue of the full work. This scene speaks volumes about one of possibly the most of import issues in black civilization today: the decayed relationship between the black adult female and the black adult male. Angelou? s image is a first individual word picture of the black adult female being dragged by her hair on a? distant beach? merely out of the range of the black adult male who is gagged, tied, and virtually incapacitated. Both of their being on this? distant beach? is symbolic of bondage and their transit to foreign lands. The 1s responsible for this class of events are Whites. This scene takes topographic point under the alert? dead blue sky, ? symbolic of Caucasic eyes. Furthermore, this image really clearly and creatively denotes the society induced deformed communicating between black work forces and black adult females, whereas black work forces have been entirely to fault therefore far.

The 3rd stanza is an reverberation of the first. It serves as a continued reminder through the duologue of the verse form of the awful experience of bondage, the wake, and the rhythm of negativeness it has perpetuated. It leads the reader to the 4th stanza where the hereditary influence on people of African descent is brought to visible radiation. Ancestral supplications to? Draw near to one another? and? salvage your race? topographic points religious value on the mending attempts of Maya Angelou. The staying part of the verse form has the same focal point toward the Restoration and salvation of people of African descent in general. Toward this terminal, stanzas six and seven acknowledge the built-in strengths every bit good as those gained as a consequence of agony and adversity. Stanza seven specifically alludes to the African usage of beat ( clapping custodies ) for mending. ? I say clap custodies and allow? s trade with each other with love. Clap hands, allow us come together and uncover our hearts. ? The verse form ends in this positive mode by mentioning specific countries to mend by? clapping hands. ? Claping custodies is an of import facet of religious healing in traditional African civilization. Members of the fear ceremonial would all set up a beat by clapping custodies to name up the ascendants to confer their approvals on the folk. The usage of beat to raise the spirit is still an of import facet of people of African descent in black churches today. Finally, by reiterating a really positive avowal refering to the full race, Angelou ends the verse form. ?

We are a traveling on people, who will lift once more. ?

American-African civilization is pregnant with evident negative every bit good as positive facets. There are several really complex and dynamic aspects that one could easy discourse. Possibly the most of import is the relationship of the black adult female with the black adult male. Since the cohesive quality or deficiency thereof between black work forces and adult females decides the success of the full race, it has been so worth the great sum of energy many bookmans have so adamantly put into seeking to mend this relationship.

Present twenty-four hours bookmans such as Dr. Delores P. Aldridge, Dr. Na? im Akbar, and Dr. Shahrazad Ali mention a myriad of grounds for the decay or unhealthy position of American-African relationships in general. The ground most studied and discussed and the ground most undeniably logical is centered around the consequence of Caucasic social norms and values on the African. To take this thought even further, Dr. Shahrazad Ali focuses on the grade to which the American-African adult female has been affected and indoctrinated as the primary ground for the dysfunctional black household unit. In The Black Man? s Guide to Understanding the Black Woman, Dr. Ali argues that black adult females use behavioural alteration techniques on the black adult male to coerce him to travel along with her thoughts about how he and she should be. She goes on to state that the black adult female? s positions are highly clouded by the thoughts of western society. It is the black adult female? s belief that these thoughts are her ain when in fact she is unfastened to any and all suggestions from another race because she has no ties to her ain cultural roots. In much the same manner, Dr. Na? im Akbar believes that the natural and regular order of black male/female behaviour has been altered against their wants by force. No species can last if the male or female of the species disturbs the balance of nature by moving other than normal. Because when this takes topographic point, the male and female have problem associating to one another as is apparent in some black relationships soon. It is the fierce belief of a overplus of the governments on American-African civilization that black work forces and adult females have accepted to the full the value system of European-American society. It is apparent that this value system was non originally designed for the healthy publicity and development of people of colour in the first topographic point. In visible radiation of the old sentence, it is logical to ground that black male-female struggle is none other than a map of American capitalistic tradition and historic subjection of all colored peoples. This really point is the first focal point of Maya Angelou? s? The Night Has Been Long. ?

The 2nd, concluding, and most of import focal point of Maya Angelou? s piece is the concentration on the healing of the black race. A big portion of this healing that she personally directs centres around the engagement of ascendants as is traditional in African idea. As a whole, it has been found that African peoples rely mostly on ascendant fear for the majority of their religious platform. That is non to state that Africans? worship? or? pray to? their dead gramps any more than they would? pray to? or? worship? a life male parent. African ascendant fear merely asks for counsel and favour as one would make with life seniors. It is their belief that the ascendants still have a vested involvement in the departures on of the life and so still be on some degree so their favour or disfavour is something to be sought or avoided by the life. Angelou uses the built-in African regard for seniors and ascendants to get down to ordain a positive alteration in black relationships. This underlined intent is evident and is a regular subject in her plants. As ever Maya Angelou? s point is good taken.

Aldridge, Delores P. Black Male-Female Relationships. Chicago: The World

Imperativeness, 1991

Ali, Shahrizad. The Black Man? s Guide to Understanding the Black Woman.

Philadelphia, PA: Civilized Publications, 1989

Idowu, Bolaji. African Traditional Religion. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books,


Maya Angelou Links and resources: hypertext transfer protocol: //


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