Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' Harlem Hopscotch '

791 Words Mar 31st, 2016 4 Pages
The setting is 1969 in the United States; a time when segregationist, separatist, and racist power plagues much of the South and African Americans as a whole. African Americans are treated as subhumans and lack the proper rights or protection to fight for their right to equality. Maya Angelou’s poem “Harlem Hopscotch” not only addresses the time period norms, but also, reveals the tensions that fuel either side of the civil rights movement. An analysis of Harlem Hopscotch reveals that the poem was created to symbolize the back and forth struggle between whites and blacks fiscally and legally, which is illustrated in the formatting and style of the poem as well as the historical context behind the words on the page.
The first thing to notice looking at the poem text on the page is staggered to represent the struggle between blacks and whites, while also fitting the gameboard of hopscotch. The formatting of the physical words on the page represents the left to right and right to left movement, which is the primary movement during hopscotch but figuratively it represents the civil rights struggle. This formatting choice creates a more visual indicator for the audience to better understand the core purpose for Angelou to write “Harlem Hopscotch”. Not only does the game of hopscotch go back and forth from left to right but according to the rules, the player in the game has to go down and back, which represents the progress that is made and the progress that is lost for blacks…

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