Why did Claude McKay write if we must die?
“If We Must Die” is a poem by Claude McKay published in the July 1919 issue of The Liberator. McKay wrote the poem as a response to mob attacks by white Americans upon African-American communities during Red Summer.
What is the purpose of the alliteration in line 4 if we must die?
What is the purpose of the alliteration in line 4? It repeats a letter sound to imitate the sound of giggling. It draws readers in to create a smooth flow.
What figurative language is used in if we must die?
McKay uses figurative language to convey his message of racial equality in “If We Must Die” through metaphors and similes. From the first line McKay starts off his extended metaphor of the poem with a simile.
What though before us lies the open grave?
What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back! Used by permission of the Archives of Claude McKay (Carl Cowl, administrator).
What did Claude McKay write about?
McKay flourished as a poet during the Harlem Renaissance, a major literary movement in the 1920s. During this time, his poems challenged white authority while celebrating Jamaican culture. He also wrote tales about the trials and tribulations of life as a black man in both Jamaica and America.
When was if we must die written?
In the context of this mass white-supremacist violence against Black communities, Jamaican-born poet and novelist Claude McKay (1889-1948) wrote the sonnet “If We Must Die.” The poem was first published in the July 1919 issue of The Liberator, a monthly socialist magazine, when McKay was nearly thirty years old.