A Century Of Dishonor By Helen Hunt Jackson And Dr. Martin Luther King Jr 's Speech

1214 Words Sep 27th, 2016 5 Pages
When studying American literature, one characteristic commonly examined is the method in which literature reflects the social contingencies of that time period. However, in American history, it is also important to examine literature written by oppressed and often underrepresented groups. The impact of a Native American oral tradition and African American vernacular culture in literature brings awareness to the social injustices and indignities they experienced (Virgil). Pieces such as, “A Century of Dishonor “by Helen Hunt Jackson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s speech “I Have a Dream” speak about the prejudices ethnic minorities face. Although both pieces share a parallel theme, their contrasting tones and figurative language express the theme in distinct ways.
King and Jackson’s pieces use similar arguments to validate their purpose and theme. King and Jackson clearly state the grievances minorities’ face, while giving examples of the group 's merciless victimization. They also express how the government has failed to live up to the task of protecting their rights and abiding by the creed on which America is founded on. In a “Century of Dishonor”, Jackson tells of the Poncas demise through observations, reports, and anecdotes of the Natives. The tribe was “once powerful and happy people”, but their people, culture, and resources had all been killed by the arrival of white men” (Jackson, 1151). Jackson goes on to depict how the once mighty group was destroyed by the…

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