Alice Walker & Maya Angelou

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Rising Legends from The South
During times of common illiteracy, two adolescent Negro girls blossom with their profound ability to transcribe words like a rose growing out from concrete. Maya Angelou, the author of “Graduation”, and Alice Walker, author of “Beauty”, are two teenage girls growing up in the segregated south with similar struggles. The two essays by Angelou and Walker are about the harsh realities each encounters through racism, and how they each overcome hardships when the odds are stacked against them. Angelou and Walker both articulately narrate their life experiences with similar descriptions, tones, and writing styles.

Angelou and Walker are each alike in their writing since both descriptively describe details of occurring events like a painter drawing a picture, but only through words. Each of the two girls thoroughly defines the customization their families diligently put into their clothing for special events. In Angelou’s essay she illustrates the preparation her mother puts into the outfit that will be worn during her upcoming graduation ceremony. Angelou writes “She smocked the yoke into tiny crisscrossing puckers, then shirred the rest of the bodice. Her dark fingers ducked in and out of the lemony cloth as she embroidered raised daisies around the hem. Before she considered herself finished she had added a crocheted cuff on the puff sleeves, and a pointy crocheted collar. I was going to be lovely. A walking model of all the various styles of fine hand sewing and it didn’t worry me that I was only twelve.” (33) Whereas Walker also boastfully describes the attire she wears in church on Easter Sunday that was designed with care by her mother and sister. Walker writes “It is East Sunday, 1950. I am dressed in a green, scalloped hem dress (handmade by my adoring sister, Ruth) that has its own smooth satin Urbanczyk, Page 2.

petticoat and tiny hot-pink roses tucked into each scallop. My shoes, new T-strap patent leather,...
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