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Civil Rights by Aaiza & Afreen

Midway-Naomi Long Madgett.
by

Aaiza Khan

on 20 May 2016

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Transcript of Civil Rights by Aaiza & Afreen

Civil Rights
By Afreen &
Aaiza

Midway-Naomi Long Madgett
Naomi Long Madgett is an African-American poet, born Naomi Cornelia Long in Norfolk, Virginia. A former teacher and an award-winning poet, she is also the senior editor of Lotus Press, a publisher of poetry books by black poets.
During her childhood, Naomi went to an integrated school. There, she faced racism. She published her first book when she was only seventeen years old. She earned degrees at Virginia State University, Wayne State University, and the Institute for Advanced Studies, also known as Greenwich University. She graduated from Virginia State University in 1945 with a bachelor of arts degree. Madgett married and moved to Detroit, Michigan where she worked for a newspaper company called the Michigan Chronicle.. Her poem “Midway,” attracted wide attention as it portrayed the many struggles and victories that blacks went through. She graduated from Wayne State University with a M.Ed in 1955. In the 1960s, she taught the first black literary course in the public school system of Detroit. She taught at Easter Michigan University and retired in 1984. Madgett has been well recognized, but most recently, she has earned the 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Award.
Background
“Midway,” by Naomi Long Madgett is her best known
poem on the Civil Rights Movement. It was written in
1958, and published the following year. At the time,
racism was prevalent in the United States. The poem
supposedly grew out of a discussion Naomi had with
her friend that discussed about the Supreme Court
desegregation ruling. It legalised racial justice for the
first time and left the determination of Black people
to move forward and never again accept the status quo.
Midway-Stanza 1
I've come this far to freedom and I won't turn back
I'm climbing to the highway from my old dirt track
I'm coming and I'm going
And I'm stretching and I'm growing
And I'll reap what I've been sowing or my skin's not black
Midway-Stanza 2
I've prayed and slaved and waited and I've sung my song
You've bled me and you've starved me but I've still grown strong
You've lashed me and you've treed me
And you've everything but freed me
But in time you'll know you need me and it won't be long.
I've seen the daylight breaking high above the bough
I've found my destination and I've made my vow;
so whether you abhor me
Or deride me or ignore me
Mighty mountains loom before me and I won't stop now.
CONTEXT
In the 60s, there was a harsh racial segregation in America. People were killed, people were jailed and people were judged for the colour of their skin. Many individuals decided to take a stand against the prejudice and represent all colours as being equal and unified. Some famous individuals included:
Martin Luther King, JFK and Bayard Rustin. Their hard work and dedication is still remembered to this day as it has finally provided all races with similar opportunities and options in life. Their legacy will live on for years to come for they have changed the world as we know it.
Midway-Final Stanza
Fricative, Alliteration and a Metaphor
Connotations:Journey to freedom, Hardship and Hope.
Rhyming couplet for emphasis on last word, controls readers pace and represents the past.
Use of time phrase shows how long they have been stuck in this endless time cycle of harsh and brutal treatment from society.
Personal pronoun shows belonging and ownership. Makes reader feel sympathetic as the writer lives in "old dirt" which shows that she doesn't have have access to any basic resources like food and water, let alone safe shelter. This creates a sense of pathos which can also be seen further into the poem.
Rhyming phrase puts emphasis on the writers development and change overtime.It is also continuing the theme of time which is shown previously in the stanza.
Use of the metaphor shows that they want to take what is theirs and take a stand for themselves after all the pain and hardships they have been through.
The last line of the stanza puts emphasis and displays the racial segregation between the races in USA at the time of the Civil Rights movement.
The first stanza introduces the theme of determination through the alliterative metaphor "far to freedom" which has connotations of a journey to equality and hopefulness that one equality will prevail . "I'm climbing to the highway form my old dirt track", the personal pronoun "my" shows that the "old dirt track" is all they have. This makes the feel sympathetic as the writer doesn't have any basic resources like food and water since she doesn't even have any safe shelter. Subsequently, this creates a theme of pathos which is continued further on in the poem. Further more, the last line of the stanza "my skin's not black" emphasises and displays the racial segregation in America during the 1960's.
The theme of religion is portrayed here and shows that she has something on her side and that they will overcome these hurdles when they put faith in God.
This alliterative metaphor shows the writer is at their breaking point and is not going to take this anymore but also has a bit of hope remaining inside of her.
Rhyming couplet for emphasis on last word, controls readers pace and represents how this pain has made her grow stronger internally.
Creates a sense of pathos as the writer is directing her comment to the audience and is blaming them for not doing anything about her pain and suffering
There is a running theme of time throughout the poem which emphaises the effort and negativity which the writer is gong through and how she is combating it.
The emotive language displays the writers importance due to her skin colour. She is aware now they might not have importance but further on in life they will and she will wait for that day to arrive.
The last line of this stanza shows how the writer knows that the time for this segregation is at its end and that the time for them to stand up for the themselves is near. This reiterates the theme of hope and time.
The noun 'daylight' displays a sense of hope and happiness that even though this racial segregation is taking place there is still hope and opportunities out in the world.
Rule of three and repetition here for emphasis of the abuse that look place .The words that are used are very emotive making the reader feel sympathetic.
The use of the verb stop continues the theme of determination and hopefulness and continuing to end what has been started.
Firstly an alliteration has been used to emphasise the personification of the mountains,is it as if they are watching the writer or coming in his way,like other things then like skin colour.Futhermore opposing the theme of racial segregation and the importance of being white.
They have made their personal promise and they will continue with it,to themselves out of this awful situation.
The final stanza portrays the theme of hope and determination that they will overcome the racial segregation and be free at last. Emotive language and pathos is used when the writer is reflecting on how society views them, "so whether you abhor me or deride me or ignore me" uses the rule of three and makes the reader feel sympathetic as emotive verbs are used. In addition, the alliterative personification of "Mighty mountains" is also a metaphor which is use to represent the many hurdles the writer has to overcome to achieve their final goal of equality and peace between all colours. Reiteration of the theme of determination is present in the final line of the stanza which emphasises it and makes it more powerful and effective for the reader, "and I won't stop now".This contains the personal pronoun "I" which can be interpreted as a powerful pronoun used to show that the writer will achieve her goal and will be free from the shackles of society.
Summary
This poem by Naomi Long Madgett describes the hardship for black people in America at the time of the racial segregation in the 60's. It uses emotive language to create pathos and to reiterate how much of a divide there was between the races. The theme of hope, time and determination is shown throughout this poem as it tells the story of a Black person who has been put down and oppressed by society for too long and has finally started to take stand for themselves. This emotive poem has become very popular as it has specific word and phrases: "I'll reap what I have been sowing", which is a metaphor describing how they'll get what they take back what they own; "I've sung my song", a metaphor showing how they are fed up with the racism and are at their breaking point; and "In time you'll need me and it won't be long", this also links back to the theme of time and shows how the writer is filled with a sense of determination and he knows that if he can wait a little while longer, society will soon realise equality and freedom is for everyone. Not just those who are white.
Throughout this stanza, the theme of hope is present and the theme of religion has surfaced.The use of conjunction show how relentless the writer is and how she is pushing through this difficult situation. It juxtaposes earlier on in the poem where the writer thought that she wasn't as important or valuable. The writer portrays the idea of how they have been punished and how they have grown stronger because of it through, use of the emotive language.
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