Equality, written by Maya Angelou, is a poem that talks about and revolves around equality. The poem is told from the eyes and view point of an African American woman during the times when African Americans were not considered equal and did not have the same rights as the white people. The narrator in the poem is speaking directly to the white population in protest telling them that they can hear their voices but choose to ignore their words. The narrator is also applying this to whenever the white Americans make up and or have these terrible stereotypes of how the African Americans ways are wanton, that they are making these false assumptions while ignoring the truth when the narrator for instance is trying to prove and cry out to them that these are false and that because they are viewed less like shadows most will never understand or see the truth if they refuse to see them as equal. This is where one of several times that the line, Equality and I will be free keys in. The line appears three times in the poem and it means that I (African American narrator) will be free from all of your (referring to the white man) burdens, false and true, that you have put upon me if you listen and understand and the only way you will understand us is if you consider us equal.
The poem Equality also contains a handful of literary elements including a reoccurring theme, metaphors, and symbolism. The reoccurring theme of the poem is equality and the demand for it. Metaphors are the most common element in this poem and the most important one too because it is the factor that dictates the tone of the poem. An example would be the first three lines of the poem, You declare you see me dimly through a glass which will not shine, though I stand before you boldly As stated before, the narrator is talking in protest to the whites and has compared herself to something of little importance as what they view her and sets up the tone as being serious, truthful, and righteous because that was really the situation at the time and it was being told just as it was for the better of the African Americans. The metaphors and the tones also ties in with the symbolism element of the poem. The metaphors of the poem like the first 3 lines symbolizes what the whites thought of the African Americans and the righteous tone created with the line of Equality and I will be free symbolizes the cry and the demand for equality during the time the poem took place in.
In conclusion, the poem, Equality is a poem that takes place around the time when African Americans did not have equal rights as regular Americans and is about the demand for freedom through equality. The poem contains many literary elements such as many metaphors and tones that ties together and have symbolic meanings.