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A visual representation of "Africa" by Maya AngelouI am just searching for ideas on...

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edizgarcia | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:54 AM via web

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A visual representation of "Africa" by Maya Angelou

I am just searching for ideas on ways to visually represent the magnificant poem by the greatest - Maya Angelou. Themes of the poem and techniques would be greatley appreciated.

 

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM (Answer #2)

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The most prevalent theme in "Africa" is that of enslavement. Throughout the poem the author provides images that support this theme:

"two Niles her tears" expresses Africa's great sorrow. (I believe Africa is personified as a woman: the "mother land.") "Brigands" offers the image of slave traders who "took her young daughters / sold her strong sons / churched her with Jesus / bled her with guns."

The second theme I see is of emancipation:

"Now she is rising..." and "now she is striding." These images give a sense of freedom—unshackled movement.

The final theme seems to be remembrance...a respect for the beauty and history of Africa. The land is described as...

"sugarcane sweet / deserts her hair / golden her feet / mountains her breasts..."

We can imagine how the land looked before the slavetraders arrived.

Remembrance is echoed again in:

"remember her pain / remember the losses / her screams loud and vain / remember her rishes / her history slain..."

 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM (Answer #3)

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For a visual display on a poster, you may wish to use the outline of the continent as that of a body of a black woman who has "lain" down. Envisioning the personification of the continent onto this body will provide depictions of the images of the first stanza.  For instance, Angelou describes the Nile as the tears that come from the eyes of Africa; her hair is "deserts," so depicting the hair as sandy with the undulating waves of the sand that has been blown by the desert winds will provide another depiction. 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM (Answer #4)

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Since you are focusing on visuals, I suggest you have someone read the poem aloud while you doodle with colored pencils, markers, or crayons (or a computer paint program).  It is kind of like a quickwrite with color.  After this, look at what colors and images you have drawn.  You can do this without the brainstorming, of course, but this way allows you to almost subconsciously pick up images.  Then you can apply the colors, your interpretation of the mood, and the images.

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edizgarcia | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:11 AM (Answer #5)

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thankyou so much for your help guys, really appreciated. Any suggestions on images and clips to symbolise the themes?

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