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Race/Ethnicity in What Its Like to Be a Black Girl, a poem written by Patricia Smith and Child of the Americas, a poem written by Aurora Levin Morales - Term Paper Example

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This current research is the best example of comparison and contrast of the two literary works. They are “What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl”, a poem written by Patricia Smith and “Child of the Americas”, a poem written by Aurora Levin Morales. …
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Race/Ethnicity in What Its Like to Be a Black Girl, a poem written by Patricia Smith and Child of the Americas, a poem written by Aurora Levin Morales
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Download file to see previous pages The focus in this paper is on racism as one of the major issues affecting the American society. Each new day, African Americans and other racial minorities find themselves at the receiving end of racial bias and discrimination. This has caused many of them to face an identity crisis given the fact that many of them are Americans by nationality but their colors deny them this right. They are descendants of people who migrated into America many years ago and through their hard labor, America is what it is today. This identity crisis has caused these racial minorities to device ways of coping with this unfairness. Some have tried to force themselves to have the “normal” American look while others have voiced their cries by demanding a place within the only society they know they belong to. Despite the pronounce discrimination, the ability to cope and mechanisms of coping are determined by how an individual from racial minority group views themselves. The first similarity between the two literary works is that they are both poems. However, What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl has been written in a continuous essay like manner that allows the poet to express content of the poem in a narrative-like fashion. Through this, she has managed to explain the life of a young girl as she transitions into womanhood as well as trying to transit from being “unfinished” into being “finished.” Although the author expresses her mind through a jagged sentence structure, the readers are able to note the seriousness of her tone because of the strong and authoritative way of communicating. On the other side, Child of the Americas has been broken into five stanzas. Each stanza allows the poet to explain her feelings systematically and gives the listeners time to reflect upon its content. The use of symbols is common in both the poems. Morales uses various symbols to describe the interaction between various cultures, and how she is locked up in all of them (college.cengage.com, 2000). For example, she says, “I am Caribena island grown, Spanish is in my flesh, ripples from my tongue, lodges in my hips: the languages of garlic and mangoes, the singing in my poetry, the flying gestures of my hands.” On her part, Smith states “it’s dropping food coloring in your eyes to make them blue… It’s popping a bleached white mophead over the kinks of your hair and primping in front of the mirrors that deny your reflection.” By saying so, she symbolized her need to grow into what she felt was the “accepted” look of society described as the blue eyed, white skinned and blonde haired. In addition, she has uses personification where she states “mirrors that deny your reflection.” This reflects how hard it is to become white in all looks based on an artificially modified form. Instead, the outcome was an awkward look. The two authors used attention capturing introductions to create interest for their poems. Smith, for example, begins by stating “first of all.” This phrase creates a sense of a story being told. On her part, Morales begins in a somewhat ambushing but humorous tone, “I am a child of the Americas.” This phrase creates some form of suspense and provokes in the listeners the urge to want to know why one would say such a thing. The author has also repeated this in the stanzas, and this has allowed her to systematically reveal all the five cultures she is made up of. Content The ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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