We Wear the Mask

Topics: Black people, Slavery in the United States, White people Pages: 2 (631 words) Published: March 27, 2008
Everyone lies to one another, keeping a sweet simple face to hide the truth. The poem, “We Wear the Mask” describes hardships blacks went through in America and how the blacks hide their sadness, grief, and sorrow behind a mask to survive and live from the whites. Confederate states in the south tried to keep slavery in order to keep the whites a superior and smarter race. Slaves lived a harsh life of work, and chores all day as somewhat expressed in “We Wear the Mask.” Many slaves believed in god or were religious in some aspect of life. The slaves would sing songs of praise to pass the time and keep their minds off the hurt that the whites put on them. Slaves did what they were told and shouldn’t be treated like work horses but as equals in life.

Blacks had to endure many hardships during the time of slavery. The slaves had to do what the white owners told them to do or they were punished with force. If a black slave was told to clean the house but didn’t clean it to the standards of the white home owner the slave was most likely whipped. “We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile” this first verse is showing how slaves always had to be happy when deep down in their soul the white people made them feel sadness and exhaustion. The “mask” is what the slave shows the white man, it’s a different view of what the slave is not feeling, which was grief, torture, and hate towards the whites.

Confederate states tried to keep slavery around by causing the Civil War. We all know the North won and slavery was abolished but the southern states still fought for slavery. The confederate states saw blacks as only slaves and not necessarily people. The slaves were treated as unintelligent workers who had no feelings or thoughts that was of no importance.

The life of a slave was very tough. Slaves did what the white told them to do even if they were exhausted...
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