Throughout history, racism has been effecting our society continuously. My essay will mainly focus on the issues raised by our society and how these issues were resolved. For instance, Maya Angelou’s poem, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings written in the 1960’s is a prominent depiction of how African-Americans were able to overcome racism through perseverance. To further expand my understanding towards racism, I have also chosen the film American History X set in contemporary American society, these two literature effectively reminds us that not only is racism still relevant after many years, but is sadly a perpetual problem in society.
A dominant issue to do with racism within our society is discrimination. In Caged Bird, Maya Angelou exploits language techniques to demonstrate how one can overcome such problem through persistency. The comparison between a “caged bird” and a “free bird” is to express the division among the white and black race. She insists that “the free bird leaps... and dips his wings”, while the “caged bird sings with fearful trill”. This instantly gives the impression that opportunities infinitely exist for whites while the same is false for blacks. Furthermore, “his wings are clipped and his feet are tied” give negative imageries of the lack of freedom possessed by the black race.
The movie, American History X, is another great example of how racism has changed throughout time. It was said in the movie how a white racist gang leader hated the blacks so much that he and his men killed a lot of blacks with brutal methods because of some forgivable misdeeds the blacks had made. He finally got caught because of the killings. In jail, he met a lot of blacks and they have lived together around the clock. When he was in trouble, they helped him a lot even though they knew what he had done. So, he found out that they were just human beings like himself. He realized that they should be treated equally. By the time he got out of jail, his racist thinking had totally vanished. However, his brother, who used to look up to him so much, took his place as the racist gang leader while he was in jail, and so, the rest of the story was about him trying to change his brother's thinking from racism to racial equality.