MAYA ANGELOU GRADUATION RESPONSE
In “Graduation” Maya Angelou defines academic success and achievement in different ways. One way she describes it is as a moving forward with life phase. The senior moves on to bigger and better things and in some ways pass the torch down to the junior ones to now take responsibility. She also describes how one senior graduation turns out to be the whole town celebration. If we look back to the time Maya Angelou graduated from high school, things were different and everyone acknowledge the annual graduation day. From her priest mentioning the graduates in his sermon to her customers visiting the store she worked to give her nickels and dimes as appreciation gifts, everybody within her society appreciate the feelings it brings to see their loved ones graduating from high school. Most importantly, Angelou, along with her family and the community she lives in at that time, looked at academic fulfillment not only as a celebration but also as a sign of hope and better things ahead for their community.
There are some evidences from the text that supports her story and experience of how it feels like to be a high school graduate during her time. One of them is on page 13 where she stated that “Oh, it was important, all right. White folks would attend the ceremony, and two or three would speak of God and home, and the Southern way of life, and Mrs. Parsons, the principal’s wife, would play the graduation march while the lower-graduates paraded down the aisles and took their seats below the platform.” This is an example that points to how everyone cherished and enjoyed the day. Despite the fact that segregation was still been practiced during that time, white people coming and talking to the crowd really meant a lot to both the communities and their visitors.
Another important example to show how academic success was looked at as a sign of hope is in Maya Angelou’s word on page 22, she says, “I was no longer simply a member of the proud...