My Arkansas

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Kishina Thomas

Professor Vowell

English Comp II

12 September 2009

My Arkansas

When May Angelou wrote “My Arkansas” she obviously had seen or experienced hatred and racism first hand. This poem expresses sadness and despair among African Americans in Arkansas.
“My Arkansas” expresses the pain that African Americans had to go through on a daily basis. The sullen earth is much too red for comfort describes the overwhelming amounts of unjust killings that were taking place in Arkansas (Line 5, 6, and 7). There were a lot of racial motivated killing of innocent people. They were being hanged from trees to put fear into other African Americans’ hearts. I couldn’t imagine waking up in the morning to look out of my window to see a friend or relative hanging, lifeless.

Today is yet to come in Arkansas tells us that Arkansas has a long way to go when it comes to removing hatred, racism and inequality (Line 18 and 19). Prime example, Desegregation of Central High School. Those nine children endured some much hatred, because they wanted the same educational opportunity as the next child. Even though we have elected our first black president, the racism is still alive among us. Every solution that he has come up with has been “a lie” per some of the senators. If you look at the fact when it pertains to his ideas, the changes that he wants to make; would have the results that he has expressed “the truth.”

The racism, hatred, and killings in Arkansas left Maya Angelou with little hope that things would get better. After reading this poem, I have come to the conclusion that African Americans have endured some much to get to where they are as a race.
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