scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 819
Claude McKay 1890-1948 is a black Jamaican born poet who wrote during the Harlem Renaissance This is a time immediately following WWI Slavery had already been abolished and there was an abundance of racial tension In 1919 McKay writes a poem If We Must Die in which he expresses the anger he felt towards the racial situation of the time By 1919 slavery had already been abolished but the white people treated blacks as if they were of a much lower class McKay has several messages for two different audiences a black audience who is afraid to stand up for themselves and a repressing white audience afraid to accept blacks as equals The African Americans of 1919 are McKays central audience Because McKay is black himself he knows how his race is being treated At this time black people are being forced to live undesirable lifestyles McKays first message to his black audience is to not let the racist white people of 1919 to force them to live in ghettos and ride in the back of buses accursed lot In 1919 blacks struggled to find good jobs and had to go to different schools from white people Black people are being discriminated against because of their color and slave background McKays second message to his fellow blacks is that they are allowing white people to treat them like insignificant animals like hogs McKay felt as though they were many black people who were frustrated with being treated second class and he wanted them to stop being so passive In line five McKay gives his people another message He told the black people of 1919 that it is inevitable that they are going to die must die whether they fight for equality or not He wants them to at least go to their grave with a little dignity nobly die and not be so passive Another message McKay sends to his black community is that
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA