In Komunyakaa’s second poem “Facing it,” he describes a veteran after the war returning to the Vietnam War Memorial. The poem begins with, “My black face fades / hiding inside the black granite” (lines 1-2). These lines indicate that he is an African American, and his black face is not the only thing that hides in the black granite. The stone and his black face is a reminder of the war casualties that he faced. The poem continues: I said I wouldn't, dammit: No tears.
Many Americans have come to the conclusion that the black people movement ended when they obtained voting rights, but no matter what rights are given to people of different races they will 6 times out of 10 feel attacked or racially profiled at least once a day. In addition, it is not like the author is pulling these experiences out of thin air these are his experiences he is speaking of his own feelings. This adds so much more credibility to his message by showing readers a different point of view in situations usually told by the other side. Usually in any acts of “misconduct” between white and black people the side of the white person is mostly focused on and unless there is clear evidence contradicting the crime the black man is accused of there is a strong probability that the black man will go to jail
John Howard Griffin is the author of the nonfiction book entitled, Black Like Me. While Griffin is most famously known for this book he has also been the author of other works, such as The Devil Rides Outside, Land of the High Sky, and The Church and the Black Man. In 1959, John Howard Griffin decided to get a firsthand account of what being black was like in the southern parts of the United States. Griffin himself is a white man living through the racial segregation happening in the 1950s, but feels he needs to become a black person in appearance to adequately experience life from an African American point of view. “How else except by becoming a Negro could a white man hope to learn the truth?” (1).
The white people seem to brush off the ruins of the Civil War while the African Americans were left with broken promises and discrimination after the war. Many African Americans were under the impression that they would prove their worth and somehow crawl out of discrimination by fighting in the war. However, they were still under the cloud of prejudice and stereotype after risking their lives. Paul Laurence Dunbar is a poet that was often recognized for his criticism about the discrimination that the African Americans faced. One of his famous pieces, The Race Questions Discussed (1898), contained his opinions about the treatment they were receiving.
Additionally, the author of the article Keep Confederate monuments, but put their horrific history on stage describes how Americans have been “willfully blind” about racial justice and that the statues could be used as reminders of the “catastrophic consequences” (Cose). The real reason why amends haven’t been made between the races, especially blacks and whites, may be due to the unjust treatment that blacks experience. In order for both sides to reconcile, the nation needs to openly admit the wrongs of participating in slavery and allow the past to stay in the past. The past shouldn’t be forgotten, but it should also be a way for individuals to learn and make
The title of Griffin's book reflects personal feelings throughout the novel, sets the mood by giving a denotative and connotative meaning of the word black, and also hints to how people are going to react to the novel. John Howard Griffin purposely titled the novel “Black Like Me” because of the way it portrays his personal feelings and thoughts as a black man. In the middle of the novel Griffin references to the remark, “Learned behavior patterns so deeply engrained they produce unconscious involuntary reactions” (Griffin 68). Griffin began to feel connections to society as a black person and no longer as a white. Griffin uses the title to link back to those feelings of being “Black Like Me”.
He paid homage to those friends because some of them passed away fighting and O’Brien wanted to show what made them special, especially because the men who fought and died in Vietnam often came home disrespected and ignored. Every story helped to shine light on the men who lost the fight. O’Brien went into incredible detail about what exactly made each man in his platoon special, especially if there was a story to lay to rest. By sharing these stories, themes of homage and sacrifice were explored as O’Brien hoped to explain what their friendship was and why it was so
The Poem “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa is a poem about the memorial veterans and memory of the Vietnam War. The poem is about a black man visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This man served in the Vietnam War and he is lucky that he did not lie down like other soldiers. The poem’s purpose is to remind us about the Vietnam War and how sadness it is to experiencing the loss of our soldiers. To completely understand “Facing It,” It helps to examine the three elements theme, Tone, and symbol.
In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien expresses to the reader why the men went to the war and continued to fight it. In the first chapter, “The Things They Carried,” O’Brien states “It was not courage, exactly; the object was not valor. Rather they were too frightened to be cowards.” The soldiers went to war not because they were courageous and ready to fight, but because they felt the need to go. They were afraid and coped with their lack of courage by telling stories (to themselves or aloud) and applied humor to the situations they encountered. The men who served in the Vietnam War were just barely men, some of them were just hitting the age twenty.
Yusef Komunyakaa, the author of “Facing It,” is a Vietnam Veteran who appears to write as a means to express his grief, pain, and postwar experiences. Being a Veteran myself and having been to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. several times, I empathize with Komunyakaa. The first thing I noticed upon walking down the path to the monument was how quiet and peaceful it was, yet the sorrow and pain was deeply rooted. I located the names of family, friends, and the MIA Marine’s name “CAPT RICHARD R. KANE” on my MIA/POW bracelet. This experience sent chills throughout my body and was emotionally overwhelming.
Black Men and Public Space was written by Brent Staples who is a black men and a journalist. The general subject in the essay is want to talk about racial problem. In other words, local people are afraid of black people. Another view I will mention is not all blacks are bad guys. There are two occasions which I have deep impression.
All the while, he joins the army, yet it cuts a deep wound into him, and he loses his mind, and so he escapes. Thereafter, he lives true to the quote, “Your identity defines who you are but it doesn 't have to define you for life” (Whitbourne), in the way that he begins to voice his grievances. To Brinker and all of his other peers he pronounces , “ ‘I’m important. You’ve never realized it, but I’m important too’ “(Knowles 176).
The pacification missions his platoon goes on are one example of that war within his own mind. He states multiple times that he is bothered by the fact that they have to convince the villagers that the American soldiers are the good guys (112). Richie doesn’t truly know who the enemy is or if either side is “right”. He makes the comment, “The real question was what I was doing, what any of us were doing, in Nam” (69). It’s hard for Perry to fight when he doesn’t know what he’s fighting for.
In Soldier from the War Returning, Thomas Childers writes that “a curious silence lingers over what for many was the last great battle of the war.” This final battle was the soldier’s return home. After World War II, veterans came back to the United States and struggled with stigmatized mental illnesses as well as financial and social issues. During the war, many soldiers struggled with mental health issues that persisted after they came home. While fighting in combat, soldiers often developed a fatalist attitude towards their lives allowing them to accept their death as fate; this attitude led to a sense of detachment that was tough to kick even when they returned to safer environments. A quarter of soldiers were diagnosed with neuro-psychiatric
In the book “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien writes about his experience before and during the Vietnamese War, tells stories about his troop, and their lives before and after the war. He illustrates about how his life changed because of the war, and emphasizes on how the war is so cruel and has no moral at all. His stories involve a lot about Vietnamese War. If people read his story superficially, they will say it is definitely a war story, but he argues that his book is actually about love (81). Although his story looks like a war story, it is actually a loved story because his stories are either about his loved ones or dedicated to his loved ones.