|I was like 13|
Born a free African American, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, was born in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1800s. After her parents died while she was just three years old, Frances was then raised by her Uncle and aunt. While there, Frances attended The Academy For Negro Youth run by her uncle; who happened to be an abolitionist. In her teen years she continued her education by working as a seamstress for a Bookstore owner in Baltimore. It wasn't, however, until after she turned 24 that Frances devoted her time to poetry and literature for the abolitionist movement. One interesting fact about Frances Harper was that she published one of the first nine books of poetry in Baltimore, and was the first African American Woman to publish a novel: Iola Leroy: or Shadow Uplifted (1893).
Bury Me In A Free Land by Frances Harper was my favorite poem we read today because her attitude towards the United States reflected the feelings of many if not all African Americans during the time period. Her tone of disgust and sadness really added a depth to the poem. She resorted to using specific details of the events that transpired after a runaway slave was caught. I feel in modern day history classes teachers leave out the true gruesome punishments and events slaves had to endure. The pattern of the stanzas also really help the reader take in each event and ponder them individually.
Here is a link about Frances Harper:
The word "shame" completely depicts the attitude of the poem Bury Me In A Free Land by Frances Harper. The Online Etymology Dictionary suggests the word Shame was originally thought to be meant by old Germanic countries as "modest or to cover ones self." However, during the Greek age poets and playwrights distinguished the word in a bad connotation meaning to "disgrace or dishonor," , which is at present the more commonly recognized definition. Furthermore, Frances Harper uses the negative connotation to her advantage to really portray the feelings many Northern Americans and African Americans felt towards slaves.
It's a Shame so many people around the world still don't get along.