Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM

Copy

Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.

DeleteCancel

Make your likes visible on Facebook?

Connect your Facebook account to Prezi and let your likes appear on your timeline.
You can change this under Settings & Account at any time.

No, thanks

"Africa" by Maya Angelou

No description
by

Savannah Keel

on 14 February 2014

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of "Africa" by Maya Angelou

"Africa"
by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
- African American writer and activist
- Wrote everything: poems, essay books, autobiographies
- many occupations from prostitute to professor to coordinator of the American Christian Leadership Conference
- Born in St. Louis in 1928 (now 85)
To Be A Jew in the Twentieth Century
To be a Jew in the twentieth century
Is to be offered a gift. If you refuse,
Wishing to be invisible, you choose
Death of the spirit, the stone of insanity.
Accepting, take full life, full agonies:
Your evening deep in labyrinthine blood
Of those who resist, fail and resist; and God
Reduced to a hostage among hostages
The gift is torment. Not alone the still
Torture, isolation; or torture of the flesh.
That may come also. But the accepting wish,
The whole and fertile spirit as guarantee
For every human freedom, suffering to be free,
Daring to live for the impossible.
Compare and Contrast "Africa" with "To Be A Jew in The Twentieth Century"
Compare:
- The underlying story of both of these poems is a historical event in which the victim rises.
- Both have themes of martyrdom and suffering for the greater good (What is the "greater good"?)
- Civil Rights (Authors were both activists)
- Message to the future generation
- Genocide

Contast:
- Structurally different
- "Africa" falls in three distinct stanzas and points in her life, while "TBAJITTC" is completely after the major event

"Africa"
Thus she had lain
sugar cane sweet
deserts her hair
golden her feet
mountains her breasts
two Niles her tears
Thus she has lain
Black through the years

Over the white seas
rime white and cold
brigands ungentled icicle bold
took her young daughters
sold her strong sons
churched her with Jesus
bled her with guns.
Thus she has lain.

Now she is rising
remember her pain
remember the losses
her screams loud and vain
remember her riches
her history slain
now she is striding
although she had lain.
Questions to ponder...
1. What are the images you get from each stanza?

2. Explain the difference in the use of "she has lain" in the three stanzas.

3. Can you think of another time in history where "the underdog" rises up?

Stanza 1
Thus she had lain
sugar cane sweet
deserts her hair
golden her feet
mountains her breasts
two Niles her tears
Thus she has lain
Black through the years
- Discussing a beautiful woman
- "Black" is a good thing
- The "intrigue" of the poem
- Description pertains to Africa itself
- change in "she had lain" to "she has lain" - signifies change

Stanza 2
Over the white seas
rime white and cold
brigands ungentled
icicle bold
took her young daughters
sold her strong sons
churched her with Jesus
bled her with guns.
Thus she has lain.
Stanza 3
Now she is rising
remember her pain
remember the losses
her screams loud and vain
remember her riches
her history slain
now she is striding
although she has lain.
- use of "to be" verb in the fist line suggests a move to the present
- "remember" three times: This stanza is Angelou's ultimate message to the reader
- Question: Can history be slain? How?
- "Although she has lain" signifies that the suffering is over; she is victorious.

- Color is important: where "black" is beautiful, "white" is cruel (understandable)
- She is being forced out of Africa, forced out of herself
- By taking her daughters and sons, they are taking her future
- deprived her of her previous religion, forced Christianity on her
- "she has lain" in the ninth line instead of the eighth

Themes in "Africa"
- Martyrdom
She suffers for her country and for future generations (another possible theme of Patriotism)
- Transformation
Change in tense
Stanza 1 is the intrigue, 2 the climax, and three the revolution
- Civil Rights
The last stanza portrays the idea that if "Africa" is remembered, the suffering will not be in vain.

Works Cited
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Africa Themes." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.

http://www.swisseduc.ch/english/readinglist/angelou_maya/pronun.html

Washington, Elsie B. (March/April 2002). "A Song Flung Up to Heaven". Black Issues Book Review 4 (2): 56.


Presentation by Savannah Keel
Full transcript