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Essay on If We Must Die Claude Mckay Analysis

Was that a good idea made by African Americans, migrating to the big Northern cities? The migration to the north was a major turning point for Americans and African Americans. The major changes came from the society plus the changes in the culture and lifestyles. Around this time people needed a change because times were getting hard. To understanding being African American, you first have to learn how to wait and that’s exactly what they did. Waiting and waiting for a change and finally got their chance to be a part of a society and not be the outcast.

Being black in the community came with cruel treatment under harsh conditions from most place they went. They deserved much more as a race. Not many stepped up but for the ones who did, their decisions that they made would change America for a long time. It’s time, to be honest with the world that America will never include that black is American. Why? Because blacks from the beginning have been treated unfairly from the places they lived to jobs that they may have had. Constantly being bashed for something that they haven’t done.

Always have been seen as the bad guy in the picture no matter where they go. Nowhere to really fit in and get comfortable with a good life, and what did that cause? The culture individually being set off on a quest with no map. Blind to this world when they were just thrown in it, nothing of this new world was of their own. Many authors like Richard Wright talk about things that may not altogether be the moral of the story but somewhat connect because the whole time they are trying to figure out where do they belong.

Richard learns about racism both from what he observes in the world and how his family members humiliate themselves in front of whites. One incident that Richard encounter with the whites is a type of humiliation that only blacks can feel. This is when he was seen reading a book and a white man came up to him and told him that he was reading something pretty deep then called him a boy. He held back the anger and just replied as he was taught to do.

On page 145 Richard Wright says “I smiled each day, fighting desperately to maintain my old behavior. Putting on an act is what many did to survive in a world that isn’t meant for them to live in. All of this puppet act had been noticed by him for so long but then he asked himself a question that may very well change his life forever. He asked himself also on page 145 “If I went to the north, would it be possible for me to build a new life then? ” But how can a man build a new life when he knows no where he is headed, doesn’t have a job waiting for him when he gets there, or even a place to live.

This type of thinking not only changed the racial ways of certain areas but also helped to produce great tension within the African-American population. So why did the African American culture decide to migrate to the North and the West? Someone placed in their mines that blacks can live the American Dream as well. What is the American Dream? The ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. The meaning of a perfect life was placed into their minds to sit but not be touched.

At the time they did not know this, so the blacks took it into their hands without knowing the risk that comes after and moved up North to cities like Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and New York, New York. They were frustrated and who provoked it? The whites did because for a very long time as a race African Americans put aside their own pleasure for a life that wasn’t even guaranteed. An author that can be another witness of living life as a tour is Toni Morrison. The first African-American author to win the Nobel Prize for literature was born in Ohio.

The neighborhood that she grew up in was the center of abolitionism. Her own parents migrated to the north hoping for a better life but instead her father still working more than the average amount of jobs for an “American”. As a young girl in her first grade class, Toni was the only black student in her class and the only child that could read. “Sula” is a significant part of this community’s history. Throughout the novel, Morrison tries to teach people to be less judgmental of others. Living where she has, there was very little respect given to her and her family.

What made the problem even worse for her family to be respected as a human being, they were all females. Each had figured out years before that they were neither white normale, and that all freedom and was forbidden to them. So they had to become something else to be. After Sula’s returning back home for ten years from the bottom, Sula ways had changed because what she has seen and experienced. While being “home” Sula believed that the life that she had been living wasn’t by choice she was pushed to live that way and didn’t like.

One of the ways that Sula lived by wasn’t accepted in her old home and even her community. Still she didn’t let that stop what she believed in having a relationship with Nel, another character in this novel. So comparing this to the Great Migration, it can be said that maybe where you grow up at is where you should stay. That’s believed because you don’t want to move on somewhere that you know nothing of and a place that will lead you out of your old ways. Well Sula let that happen even-though she has a college education and traveled the world.

You might think, well she should be smart and stick what she knows already but no she was curious about why should she still live in the country and not where there is “Hope”. Claude McKay, the next author that did a little more traveling than the others to find where they belong. A Renaissance man but born in Jamaica, grow up in the times where blacks talked about the injustices that they faced in their time, and expressed their culture. At the age of seventeen he moved to the U. S. where he spent most of his years writing.

Claude quickly learned that racism was a social norm and segregation was a none to be part of life. The poem “If we must die” on page 1005 vol. 1. “If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,”. Was understood to be written towards the white man, to show the fact is, they are not fighting for survival; they already know they will die. This poem is a great example, showing how racism was a huge factor on how authors, artist, and musicians lived their lives. Claude also a educated man studied at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, but soon left because he didn’t like the routine lifestyle and the conditions after only two months of his arrival.

Soon after he took his studies on to Kansas State College before he decided to resume his career as a writer. Before he moved yet again he published a few poems. Then in 1919, McKay traveled to England and from here on out is where his career takes off. 1279 words. Once he settled down in London, McKay became the first black journalist in UK. He wrote about the racism in America and his want to go back home to Jamaica. In 1923, McKay returns back to America and everything was still the same and that’s when he realized that socialism can become corrupt.

He then appreciated democracy and became apart of the Roman Catholic church, when most blacks in the U. S. were Christians. A few stories about certain authors and how they wrote about their pain and hardship about living in America being black. Through all the traveling and humiliation that they went through to just sit there and try to explain to other blacks that this place is not for them. Exactly how the whites came over to Africa to bring them back over to America. Having children and being lied to about who they were as a person.

How whites didn’t preach the things they believed in and let blacks run around the world trying to figure what is their purpose in life. For example, in the poem “Outcast” by Claude McKay, page 1007 states “Something in me is lost, forever lost, some vital thing has gone out of my heart, and I must walk the way of life a ghost”. Hunted by a past that they knew nothing about. Trying to run away from the problem in the white man’s maze, to only find more reasons to feel lost. For a very long time as a race they put aside their own pleasure for a life that wasn’t even guaranteed.

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