“Champion of The World” Analysis
Maya Angelou continues to use various context clues throughout “Champion of The World” to show the importance of the exciting event about to occur. The fight that was about to take place was a huge deal to the black race. Back in this time period, the world had never seen a colored person win against a white man to become the champion of the world. With that being said, the fight wasn’t just about winning to them. It was also about the slavery laws and the fear that more black men and women would be raped or hung. If Joe Louis, the colored man about to take place in the boxing match, won then it would be more peace for the black race. Angelou explains this to the readers by saying, “This might be the end of the world. If Joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help.”
When reading this short story, you can easily see things from the author’s point of view when she gives plenty of examples of the suspense at the grocery store where everyone had gathered to listen to the fight through the radio. The very first sentence is a great example to show the eagerness of the crowd by saying, “The last inch of space was filled, yet people continued to wedge themselves along the walls of the Store.” This shows the readers how important it truly was to them. There is more anticipation leading up to the end of the fight and the crowd listening can’t determine the winner until Joe himself speaks into the microphone at the end of the fight. Angelou does an excellent job explaining the winner and telling about the emotions the crowd had afterwards.
“Champion of the World.” The Bedford Reader. By Maya Angelou. Eleventh Edition ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. 110-13. Print.…...