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Examine Maya’s portrayal of the Black Community in the USA- What do you feel are the positive/negative aspects of being Black according to her account.

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Introduction

Examine Maya's portrayal of the Black Community in the USA- What do you feel are the positive/negative aspects of being Black according to her account. The black community Maya lived in is one with positive and negative points. In this essay I will try to decide is the community she lives in is more positive or if it is more negative. Maya's view on it isn't decided really and her feelings about it are vastly varied. On the positive front Maya says how the cotton pickers who owed large amounts of debt had to work in the cotton fields in an attempt to re-pay it, which they could never achieve. She says that even though they were cut badly and their shoulders and arms were aching they kept high morale by singing songs. They never complained of this tedious and tiring work, as they all knew that it was their only form of income. "In later years I was to confront the stereotyped picture of gay song-singing cotton pickers with such inordinate rage that I was told even by fellow blacks that my paranoia was embarrassing." ...read more.

Middle

But also the higher members of this hierarchy never treated the lower members inappropriately because they weren't as successful but kept the community spirit, by acting as if they were on a similar level. Even though the community had very little, it was deeply proud of what it did have. When Uncle Willie met strangers he pretended not to be crippled and they all dress up in their best clothes for church as a sign of respect. This again brings the community together more as people are all doing the same things. Also by celebrating what they do have they are not intimidated by the white community being richer and they were happy with what they did have. If however they were always praying for a similar life as the white community they would be miserable and always hoping for something that they could never get. " When I looked at Uncle Willie, I knew what was pulling my mind's coattails. He was standing erect behind the counter, not leaning forward or resting on the small shelf that had been built for him. Erect. His eyes seemed to hold me with a mixture of threats and appeal." ...read more.

Conclusion

"Oh, it was important, all right. Whitefolks would attend the ceremony, and two or three would speak of God and home, and the southern way of life." One real danger for the black society was that there was a continual danger of the Ku Klux Klan and in one incident Uncle Willie was forced to hide. The sheriff who was white informed them but it seemed like he was almost gloating about the fact that Uncle Willie was in danger rather than helping them. "Annie, tell Willie he better lay low tonight. A crazy nigger messed with a white lady today. Some of the boys'll be coming over here later." From the points I have shown it is still very difficult to determine if the Black community was more positive or if it was more negative. But really it depends on how you look at it. If you were someone who hadn't experienced the white community with its larger number of advantages then the black community would be positive as you wouldn't know any better. But if you had seen how better off and easier the white community had it in comparison to you then you would probably portray the black community from a negative front. ...read more.

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