RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AS THE REPRESENTATION OF AMERICAN SOCIAL LIFE IN 1970S IN MAYA ANGELOU'S SELECTED POEMS
Maya Angelou is an African-American writer who has successfully created autobiography novels, poems, song lyrics, and drama scripts. Most of her works tell about the experiences of African-American people being discriminated in America, especially her poems published in 1970s. This research chooses three of her 1970s poems as the objects of research to examine how racial discrimination in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Alone, and Still I Rise becomes the portrait of American social life in 1970s and how racial discrimination is described in those poems. This research uses qualitative research method. Facts and information related to racial discrimination in America in 1970s and the three poems are also gathered in order to support this research. The discussion starts from exposing the background condition of America in 1970s leading to the analysis of racial discrimination in Maya Angelou's selected poems which is focused on three core events; the white as the power controller, the weak black as the victim of racial discrimination, and the negotiation of freedom. The theory used at this point is Stephen Greenblatt's new historicism. Then, the discussion continues to analyze the intertexuality between American condition in 1970s and racial discrimination in the poems to determine the position of Maya Angelou's selected poems toward racial discrimination. As the result, this research finds out that from the range of racial discrimination discussion, Maya Angelou is in the position of exposing the mental experience of the black as the racism victim. This research also gain a conclusion that she describes the United States of America is in the middle of social anxiety in 1970s as the impact of the black and the white discomfort toward their position in society.
- SRA-Humanities