Claude McKay’s Biography; His Experiences And Poems Sample Assignment

Claude McKay was one of the most influential figures during the Harlem Renaissance period of the 1900s. Born and educated in his native Jamaica, McKay ventured out to the United States in 1912 to pursue further education (McKay). While in the US he discovered the cruelties suffered by the African Americans.

McKay was shocked with the racism people of color encountered in the United States; thus his sonnets were his responses to events he encountered in the country. I chose to write a paper on Claude McKay and his works because I believe that through his experiences and his poems one can see the inequalities happening in the United States to people of color in the country.

McKay first came as a foreigner. He should have been treated as a guest, but rather he experienced the discrimination of the whites. An educated man, McKay’s writings focused on urging African Americans to self-determination. He promoted equality among races through his literary works. His earlier writings were constructed with similes which depicted the anger he felt like a man of color.

During the Red Summer, a period of race riots and violence against African Americans in 1919, McKay wrote and published his “If We Must Die” sonnet as his response to the current events taking place during that time. Through such literature, he urged his comrades to defend themselves from their oppressors and fight back for their rights.

In the lines of the poem, McKay expressed his sentiments that people of color are treated like animals by the white people of America. He described such treatment similar to that of hogs. “If We Must Die” was very powerful because the writer gave a sense of empowerment to the oppressed by saying that if they meet their deaths, they should die nobly and not like hogs.

“If we must die, let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,

While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die,” (Harper and Walton)

Claude McKay related such racism and violence with the ignorance of US law. In this poem “The White House,” McKay wrote about the inequalities of the law wherein his understanding, current politicians during that time were protecting the order of inequality.

In the first lines of the said literature, McKay made known to his readers that his anger was so great that he compared it to the sharpness of steel. The poem focused on the biases the American law had. McKay encouraged the colored people to unite for them to be heard. One man alone cannot fight for the freedom and equality desired by the whole race.

Thus McKay urged the colored people to be wise enough to join forces. They must not give in to their hatred, and they must not accomplish things through violence but settle things lawfully.

“Oh, I must search for wisdom every hour,

Deep in my wrathful bosom sore and raw,

And find in it the superhuman power

To hold me to the letter of your law!” (Harper and Walton)

Though Claude McKay came to the United States as a foreigner, he grew to be very passionate with the country and fought for the rights of African Americans during a time when racial discrimination was prominent in the country. His works depicted the tragedies that occurred during his stay in the country. Racial violence was common against black people, and American law did nothing to protect the abused.

Works Cited

Harper, Michael S., and Walton, Anthony, eds. The Vintage book of African American Poetry. Michigan: Vintage Books, 2000. Print.

McKay, Claude. A Long Way from Home. New York: Mariner Books, 1970. Print.

Public Key Infrastructure

The modern business environment is competitive, and organizations are required to ensure that they have the necessary tools for coping with this competition. In the technological environment, different products and services require the use of digital signatures to enhance security. Currently, public-key technology provides a viable means of securing services and products. By using public-key technology, organizations can enjoy security in their e-business transactions.

Public key infrastructure (PKI) is “a comprehensive system that provides public-key encryption and digital signature services” (Raval & Fichadia, 2007). The main purpose of PKI is to manage encryption keys and digital certificates. PKI uses public-key cryptography to ensure that organizations can maintain trustworthy networking environments. Overall, PKI employs encryption and use of digital signatures in various applications. This paper addresses PKI and its relation to the concept of trust when using public keys.

PKI, as a concept supports several security services that enhance the concept of trust within the digital environment. PKI supports authentication security-services or the ability to substantiate an entity’s identity in networked environments. PKI also supports confidentiality services or the capabilities of shielding information from being disclosed to unauthorized parties.

Data integrity is the ability to guarantee that data has not interfered within the course of transmission. Also, PKI supports technical non-repudiation security services. Technical non-repudiation refers to a system’s ability to prevent unidentified entities from blocking requested actions.

The concept of trust is inbuilt within PKI, and this is manifested through several PKI’s features. The certification authority (CA) is an entity of PKI that allows users to give and cancel public key certificates. CA is made up of both computer and personnel systems. CA presents PKI with the most important aspect of trust. Through CA, PKI can provide authentication services that can help recognize valid users and computers within a network.

CA can create trust because it assures users that the individuals and computers that they communicate with are safe. Use of CA ensures that all the keys and identities that are used within a certain network are trustworthy and valid. However, to benefit from the trust that is created by the CA, all the users who are covered by a single PKI should have ‘registered identities’ (Raval & Fichadia, 2007).

Consequently, if network users can trust a CA (and the standard business policies for issuance and management of certificates), they can also trust other CA-issued certificates within their networks. The trust that is created by a CA is known as third-party trust because it is not a direct contract between two network users.

In a PKI environment, data can be disguised and protected by using CA’s third-party trust. For instance, CA certificates are instrumental in disguising a user’s name and thereby turning it into a distinguished name (DN). The DN is a valid identifier, but the data that it contains is disguised and protected.

The DN contains the name of the user and other user-based unique identifiers such as employee number. PKI also protects data by ensuring that the certificates that are issued by the CA only remain valid for a limited period. Periodically eliminating user-based data from the network protects personal data from exploitation by malicious agents.

PKI presents both organizations and software developers with an avenue for securing information across digital networks. Organizations can easily use PKI because it supports a wide range of applications and other multi-functional capabilities (Brown & Stalling, 2011). On the other hand, the software development life cycle (SDLC) relies on PKI to secure inter-data services and ensure interoperability. PKI gives software developers a platform for achieving interoperability. Furthermore, PKI does not require upfront investment, and it can, therefore, account for shorter SDLC’s.


Brown, L., & Stalling, W. (2011). Computer security: Principles and practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Raval, V., & Fichadia, A. (2007). Risks, controls, and security: concepts and applications. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Incorporated.

The Founding Of The Caliphate

The foundation of the Caliphate, one of the most important features of Islam religious and political powers, remains an important topic of debate in the history of religion. Over the years, scholars have attempted to develop a number of theories to explain the actual foundation of the Caliphate. One of the major questions is whether the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) was the actual founder of the Caliphate or it was a result of the social and religious politics that emerged prior and after the death of the Prophet (Madelung 93).

Several scholars have supported the hypothesis that the first four Caliphs were not only religious leaders but also political and military leaders whose main purpose was to use military and political prowess and conquest to establish strong political empires based on the new Islamic faith. On the other hand, several scholars have argued that the Prophet himself was a social, political, and religious leader, whose successors only came to expand his work and will.

Moreover, a number of other scholars have supported the hypothesis that there is no clear successor to the Prophet Muhammad among his followers, with the foundation of the Caliphate largely based on elected individuals whose commitment and ability to provide religious mentorship like the Prophet Muhammad is highly controversial.

The paper will argue that despite the existence of evidence that a clear successor to the Prophet among his followers was lacking, the Caliphate is strongly a sociopolitical and religious setting, with the first four caliphs being the right founders, providing religious and political leadership. In addition, this paper argues that the Prophet himself was not the founder of the Caliphate, but the elected successors founded the system under the existing sociopolitical and religious issues in Medina.

Based on these scholarly findings, the paper also attempts to refute the historical hypothesis that the sword was the main methodology used by the first four caliphates to spread religion.

Maulana Muhammad Ali, a leading scholar in Middle East history, has developed one of the most distinctive scholarly analyses of the Caliphate and history of the early caliphs. In his writings, Ali develops an in-depth analysis of the foundation of the Caliphate following the death of Prophet Muhammad. The author attempts to describe the origin of the term “Caliphate”. Here, it is revealed that the term is an English word used to describe the Arabic term “Khalifa”, which means “the successor” or “the deputy”.

It has been revealed that prior to his death, the Prophet Muhammad was aware that the work he had initiated had given him an important religious position as a prophet and leader, which would eventually need another individual once his days were over. According to some scholars, the Prophet had Chosen Ali, his own son-in-law, and cousin, as his rightful successor (Madelung 129).

On the other hand, other scholarly work attempts to argue that the Prophet had not settled on any successor, but the best candidate for the job was Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s friend, and father-in-law. According to Maulana Ali (191), the election of Abu Bakr was based on a democratic election done among the Prophet’s disciples and guided by the power of Allah.

According to the author and this school of thought, this marks the beginning and foundation of the Caliphate. In fact, the scholar’s work attempts to agree with the hypothesis that the Prophet was not the founder of the Caliphate, but rather Abu Bakr’s election marked the foundation of the Caliphate.

According to a number of other schools of thought, the Prophets may not have been aware that his death would result in a new sociopolitical and religious leadership under the Caliphs. In fact, the Caliphate was founded not only under the Prophet’s religious work, but also under the existing political conditions in Medina. According to Madelung (54), it is impossible to study the foundation of the Caliphate without looking at the political divides and camps that were present in the city.

The Ansar, a group of religious helpers, were among the most powerful and significant political settings in the city. According to this school of thought, the Ansar feared the rule of the Quraysh group, one of their most powerful rivals. The Ansar leaders had sworn allegiance to Imam Ali, who was believed to be a less probable candidate to assume power after the demise of the Prophet. In his remarks at Saqifa, Ansar leader Hubab Ibn Mundhir declared that the Ansar was superior to the Quraysh (Gulen and Ceylan 86).

In addition, the group declared that the Muhajirun (immigrant Quraysh) were inferior and subjects to the Ansar. However, before they could settle on any leader, the Quraysh heard about the gathering at Saqifa and decided to join. An immense argument between the two groups followed and lasted for several days.

According to (Madelung 68), three issues were contentious and formed the actual factors that contributed to the foundation of the Caliphate. First, it was clear that the Quraysh group, from which all the Imams came from, dominated the politics of the time.

Secondly, the large number of the Ansar gave them military power over other groups, especially during the capture of Mecca. Thirdly, it was evident that the smaller Arab tribes were not willing to obey any other leader apart from those from the Quraysh. Fourthly, Abu Bakr had the strongest relationship with the Prophet.

According to Juda (67), these factors gave Abu Bakr the right to become the Prophet’s successor (The Khalif) rather than his allegiance to the religion.

However, due to his advanced age and declining health, Abu Bakr only ruled for two years before his death in 634 AD. However, his work remains significant in the advancement of Islam in Asia. Abu Bakr was able to unite the Quraysh, the Ansar, and other groups into a large army, which carried out expansive campaigns to spread Islam across Arabia.

Again, authors such as Maulana Ali (231) and Juda (59) use Abu Bakr’s succession as evidence of the democratic foundation of the Caliphate. Historians have shown that Abu Bakr’s death resulted in another election. Representatives from the Quraysh, the Asar, and other smaller groups, appointed Umar into the Caliphate.

However, it is worth noting that the democratic nature of the election is doubtable because Abu Bakr had initially anointed Umar as his successor. Authors such as (Gulen and Ceylan) refute this claim by showing Umar’s potential as the rightful candidate for the Caliphate. After Abu Bakr, Umar rule for ten years between 634 and 644 AD.

The leadership of Umar provides evidence that the Caliphate did not use the sword to spread religion. It was based on the idea that Islam state would exist even among the non-Muslims. For instance, it has been shown that Umar saw the need to build political and social structures for the future of the Caliphate. For instance, he did not coerce the non-Muslim groups in the captured states to convert to Islam. In addition, he did not attempt to centralize his government, unlike the Persians (Oxford University Press 431).

He democratically allowed his subjects to retain and practice their religions and belief systems, language, government, and customs. He only installed a governor (amir) and a financial officer (Tamil) in every state. These principles were followed and advanced under the leadership of Uthman, Umar’s successor.

Uthman intensified the Caliphate’s political conquest to advance the empire, but did not attempt to coerce people to covert or interfere with their social systems. In fact, he used the power to read as the means of spreading religion. For instance, he ordered the formal writing of the Quran, which was taught the new schools and homes in all the captured areas.

In conclusion, it is evident that the Caliphate was founded under democratic terms. In addition, these factors provide evidence that the founders of the Caliphate did not use military power to spread religion, contrary to common beliefs. Rather, the Caliphs used the sword to advance their empire, just like the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks and Romans had done.

Annotated Bibliography

Ali, Maulana Muhammad. The Early Caliphate. Dublin, OH: Ahmadiyya Anjum Ishaat, USA, 1985. Print.

The author is one of the most prominent writers and researchers in the history of Islam and the Muslim world. He has written extensively in this topic. In this book, the author reviews the history of the Caliphate by analyzing the life and works of the first four Caliphs- Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali.

This book is important to my study because it provides evidence that the Caliphate was founded after the death of the Prophet. It carries out an in-depth analysis of the life and works of the four Caliphs, which support my hypothesis that the foundation of the Caliphate was a normal sociopolitical rather than a religious movement.

Oxford University Press. Caliph and Caliphate: Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide. London, OUP, 2010. Print.

This book develops an intensive review of some important historical accounts and research articles about the foundation and progress of the Caliphate. It shows how the Caliphs emerged after the death of the Prophet.

The book is an important source of firsthand knowledge about the topic. It provides a selective guide and an important background for my study.

Gulen, Fethullah, and Elvan Ceylan. “A comparative approach to Islam and democracy.” SAIS Review 21.2 (2001): 133-138. Print.

This article attempts to provide a detailed analysis of Islam as a religion based on the work of the first four Caliphs. It argues that Islam was founded on democratic grounds, contrary to the wrong beliefs that jihadists were used to spread the religion. The author shows that the foundation of the Caliphate set the trend of spreading religion in a democratic manner.

This article is important in my study because it provides a detailed analysis of the relationship between religion and political advancements after the Prophet’s demise. It forms a strong background to support my hypothesis.

Juda, Jamal. “The Caliphate in Early Islam (A Study in Political and Religious Thinking and its â Development in the Islamic State during the Initial Phase of Foundation).” An-Najah University Journal for Research 18.1 (2003): 51-82. Print.

This article is one of the most detailed empirical researches in the current topic. It critically analyzes a wide volume of historical and religious materials to analyze the schools of thought that attempt to describe the foundation and nature of the Caliphate during the early Muslim advancement.

In my proposed study, I will use this article to show evidence of several schools of thought about the topic and their claims. I will use it to show how the Caliphate was founded.

Madelung, Wilferd. The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. London, Cambridge university press, 2010. Print.

This book is an important historical account that examines the political, social, and economic issues affecting the society during the time of the Prophet and their impacts on the state after his death.

The book is important in my study because it does not take a partisan approach to history, but examines the foundation of the Caliphate from a historian’s point of view.

Works Cited

Ali, Maulana Muhammad. The Early Caliphate. Dublin, OH: Ahmadiyya Anjum Ishaat, USA, 1985. Print.

Gulen, Fethullah and Elvan Ceylan. “A comparative approach to Islam and democracy.” SAIS Review 21.2 (2001): 133-138. Print.

Juda, Jamal. “The Caliphate in Early Islam (A Study in Political and Religious Thinking and its â Development in the Islamic State during the Initial Phase of Foundation).” An-Najah University Journal for Research 18.1 (2003): 51-82. Print.

Madelung, Wilferd. The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. London, Cambridge university press, 2011. Print.

Oxford University Press. Caliph and Caliphate: Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide. London, OUP, 2010. Print.

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