These poems were recited in the fields as the slaves worked while others were made into strong songs that not only united but also gave the slaves a sense of unity in their black heritage. The late 19th century and for most parts of the 20th century, poems from the black community and other human rights activists were used to bring down the racial divide between the whites and the black communities. Through poetry, a sense of self-discovery was ignited in African Americans and this was able to see them survive slavery and racial segregation. The theme of Racism is one of the most important themes in the history of the modern world. These paper will explore the relevancy of how racism as a theme has been handled in poetry successfully to instill self-discovery attitudes.
Racism as a theme has featured in many texts by black poets. However, it is important to note that racism not only occurs when amongst the African American group in the United States. A number of poets from different races and on a global level have handled theme of racism in their texts. Racism can be defined as treating people indifferently based on their race or color of their skin. Denying an individual something or treating someone indifferently due to the color of his skin or origin, is against the basic human rights. In the US, the history of Racism goes back before the founding of the nation during the days of slavery. Africans were taken from their homes in Africa and turned into slaves to work in agricultural plantations while at the same timework as slaves in white homesteads. Working as slaves, African Americans were beaten, killed, tortured and treated like second-rate citizens. The emancipation proclamation in 1864 ended the civil war and abolished slavery while giving African American slaves the right to their freedom (Hathaway, Jarab &Melnick 37-44).
However, the freedom that African Americans gained had its own limitations and most of