Black Poetry : If We Must Die by Mr. Claude McKay ...

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by solomon7, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. solomon7

    solomon7 Banned MEMBER

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    If We Must Die


    Claude McKay


    pic...

    http://www.booksamillion.com/bam/covers/0/48/640/876/0486408760.jpg

    Though not a native American, Jamaican born Claude McKay was one of the most prominent figures in the Harlem Renaissance. His "If We Must Die" was published in the Liberator in 1919, making it one of the very first poems initiating the tone, subject, and matter of the literary movement. Here are a few lines from the text:
    If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, . . . Like men we’ll face the muderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

    The content of "If We Must Die" is revolutionary--a quality evident in much of McKay’s writing. As the poem suggests, McKay believed part of a poet’s job is to politically inform the minds of the people. During his lifetime, he often spoke out against and wrote about the institutionalized racism of governments in the world’s most powerful countries like America and England. He traveled from Jamaica to America, Great Britain and the Soviet Union studying the oppression of different peoples and advocating political change.

    His political ideas were exemplified early in his literary career by the presence of dialect and island culture in his poetry. They also appeared in his fiction in which he often captured the working class black who struggled to make it in his allotted life. His novels include Home to Harlem (1929), Banjo (1929), and Banana Bottom (1933).



    In 1937 McCay published his autobiography, A Long Way from Home. It was the culmination of his life as a political activist, novelist, essayist and poet. McKay died a few years later at the age of 58. He influenced several Harlem Renaissancers such as Langston Hughes, and he is considered one of the main stimulators of the Negritude Movement--another literary movement whose proponents tried to classify a black -based, African-based aesthetic founded on what the writers and poets of the Harlem Renaissance created.

    McKay’s poetry was published in several volumes. Some are Songs of Jamaica (1912), Constab Ballads (1912), Spring in New Hampshire (1920) and Harlem Shadows (1922).
    http://www.unc.edu/courses/pre2000fall/eng81br1/claude2.html
     
  2. nevar

    nevar Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    thanks for sharing this poet do continue on.
     
  3. skrybble7

    skrybble7 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for the poem and the edification.
    One love
     
  4. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    nice and great eye opener....
     
  5. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother Solomon ... please read this post.

    Thank you.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  6. GHETTOAMBITION

    GHETTOAMBITION Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    dang stanks for skoolin me on McCay, he songs very inertresting, ima have 2 read bout him, much luv


    blackluv and bp
     
  7. solomon7

    solomon7 Banned MEMBER

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  8. spicybrown

    spicybrown Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Solomon the man with a message, and a message with reason:)
     
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