My Father's Song Historical Context

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During the late 1960s and early 1970s in America many oppressed groups, including African Americans and women, protested economic and social inequality and demanded greater representation. This was a time of idealism and youthful enthusiasm, when a just future for all seemed possible. By the mid-1970s, Americans had developed a hardened cynicism, born from their failure in Vietnam and the debacle of Watergate.

Around the time when Ortiz was writing the poems that appeared in Going for the Rain (1976), Native Americans were rebelling against centuries of oppression by the United States government. Then, as now, most Native Americans lived on impoverished reservations, their land and many of their traditions taken from over a few hundred years by European colonizers. In 1969, a group of Native- American activists occupied vacant Alcatraz Island, off the coast of San Francisco, for eighteen months. The group demanded that...

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This section contains 604 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the My Father's Song Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
My Father's Song from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.