The poem begins, “ The gold of her promise, has never been mined.” America, promises us that all men are created equal. The first problem with the promise is we are not all men. The gold of her promise, address equality. Although it is promised to all in this country, its never delivered, when discrimination, of race and gender are still existent.
“Her borders of justice, not clearly defined.” We all have our feelings on what justice is, because circumstances differ when we speak of justice in the terms of punishment, to compensate for ones wrong doing. Yet, the borders of justice are not one size fits all. Its a well known fact that our prisons are highly populated with the Black race. Its, not that the black race commit more crimes but they are more severely punished for the crimes they commit.
Money is power, and its proved often in the courts. Those who have money can afford expensive attorneys unlike the common folk. This line in the poem also addresses the fact that justice is for some, not all. “ Her crops of abundance, the fruit and the grain, have not feed the hungry nor eased that deep pain.” To take this literally our country has a surplus of food, that no man, woman or child should go hungry, yet they do. This line not only addresses actual food, it address the fact that this is a country which is abundant in resources yet these abundant resources of opportunity have not been offered to all.
Our country has also never acknowledged the error of our ways. The people we have hurt, and destroyed such as the Native, and African Americans. Instead with give those in poverty minimal assistance to sustain and oppresses instead of aid to progress. “ Her proud declarations, are leaves on the wind.” We are a proud country, we are superior.
“Her southern exposure, black death did befriend.” This line speaks of the tragedy of slavery in the south. Many physically died from slavery, yet more where made to die outwardly and all of their being had to be repressed. “ Discover this country, dead centuries cry.” We must not forget our history, and the history we must learn is that which is not explicated in our mainstream history texts. To consider how this country was founded, on blood, turns my stomach. We must realize,
“Things are not as they appear.” We must address our countries history, because the pain we have cause entire races, and genders should not be repeated, they must be acknowledged. “ Erect noble tablets, where none can decry.” Although some would like to deny it there is proof that such suffering took place, is just must be sought out. “ She kills her bright future, and rapes for a sou. Then entraps her children with legends untrue.” Our country could have a bright future, if we included all in this process. Instead of the select elite were chosen simply because they were born to be elite.
Millions have pillaged to our country to seek out a better life for themselves. This is said to be a country where dreams come true through hard work, but hard work doesn't always pay off. What pays is what class you were born to. Our country entraps her children with legends that all can have the American Dream. That all can have riches or all can have food and clothing yet we all can’t.
Maya Angelou closes her poem by saying, “ I beg you, discover this country.”Source: http://www.termpapers-termpapers.com/dbs/d5/pms21.shtml