Graduation: Black People and Negro National Anthem

Topics: Black people, African American, Graduation Pages: 3 (861 words) Published: October 23, 2008
Graduation is one of the most memorable moments in a lifetime. Maya Angelou’s graduation was an exciting moment, yet it was a very hurtful experience because of racism/segregation. This badly affects Angelou at her graduation.

The overall point in Graduation is racism and segregation. Her choice of words is very powerful and emotional:
It was awful to be a Negro. It was brutal to be young ad already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with white folks on the bottom as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negros with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spiritual sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should all stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) white silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us. (110) This explains her emotions about racism, and how horrible it is. She closes it off by saying we are all the same species, and no one is different. This proves she believes racism is wrong. Because of segregation, the white schools are totally different from the black schools. Angelou defines the overall point by comparing the white schools to the black schools:”Unlike the white high school, Lafayette County Training School distinguished itself from having neither lawn, nor hedges, nor tennis court, nor climbing ivy” (103). This reveals what kind of luxuries the white schools had and how unfair the education system was. When Donleavy, a white man comes to speak at the graduation he focuses on the improvements coming to the schools. The white schools had new academics and classroom equipment and the black schools had new tool boxes...
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