In order to change history, people must learn from their mistakes. Segregation in North America has been a big issue in North America that unfortunately still happens in the world today, however, it is not as bad as it once was. In the poem “History Lesson” by Natasha Trethewey, the author uses mood, symbolism and imagery to describe the racial segregation coloured people faced in the past compared to more recent times, where equality is improved and celebrated. The author uses language and setting to influence the mood and meaning of the poem. She starts off the poem with the speaker looking at a “photograph” (Trethewey l. 1) of herself when she was four years old. The reader is instantly taken into a personal memory of the narrator and …show more content…
The poem begins with the speaker looking at a photograph of herself on a beach where the “sun cuts the rippling Gulf in flashes with each tidal rush” (Trethewey l. 5-7). The beach is an area where two separate elements meet, earth and water, which can represent the separation of the different races that is described during the time that her grandmother was alive and it can also represent the two races that are able to live in harmony in the present day. The clothing that the two women wear not only represent how people dressed during the different time periods, but in both the photographs of the speaker and her grandmother, they are seen standing in a superman-like pose with their hands on “flowered hips” (Trethewey l. 3,16). The flowers on the “bright bikini” (Trethewey l. 4) are used to represent the death of segregation, similar to how one would put flowers on a loved one’s grave, and on the “cotton meal sack dress” (Trethewey l. 17) it is used to symbolize love and peace in a troubled society. Contrasting images are used between the beginning and end of the poem. At first, the speaker is described as standing on a “wide strip of the Mississippi beach,” (Trethewey l. 2) while her grandmother is standing on a “narrow plot of sand.” It symbolizes the freedom the speaker now compared to the confinement and limited opportunities her grandmother experienced. Natasha Trethewey uses mood, symbolism, and …show more content…
In my group, there wasn’t really anyone who had much experience using a DSLR or making and editing videos. We decided on the poem “History Lesson” because it could be applied to present day problems with the #Blacklivesmatter movement. During the first two classes we had, we came up with what shots we wanted to take and ideas we wanted to incorporate, but there was no exact storyline, it was only created after we shot half of the video. One of the major problems we had was with the weather. Because the beach was where the poem was where the poem was set, we wanted to film the majority of the scenes at the beach. On the day of filming, we had to reschedule because it started raining and snowing so we decided to go to downtown in the freezing weather instead and shoot as many things as we could during the time given with the camera. We decided to wear all black in our video not only because none of us were comfortable acting in front of a camera, but in reference to Trayvon Martin who died after being shot by the owner of a store who thought he was trying to rob him just because he was black and wore his hoodie up. We also decided not to have a voice over because we thought it would take away from the serious message of the video. There are no extreme angles and minimum distortion in our video because we wanted it to be as realist as possible, although we did use high angles to represent vulnerability and low angles to
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When your race is broadcasted it’s not something that you just get over. It remains with you for a very long, agonizing time. In these two poems, “Southern History” by Natasha Trethewey and “Incident” by Countee Cullen, the speaker is pronounced fully aware of their racial identity and something in them changes and makes them view everything differently, like their class or a whole city. The uses of point of view, irony, and tone all make this realization possible for the speaker because it helped convey the significance of these moments.
Henrietta’s Story- One of Great Miracles History is made everyday by everyone; however, some become more prominent in it than others. Whether this be through their actions or their beliefs, it influences generations to come. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot begins when a young African-American mother, friend, and wife made an enormous contribution to science and medicine. Yet, this incredible journey all started in a time when Jim Crow laws were still in place, and racial slurs were thrown out daily; an abhorrent era where not all were seen as equivalent with equal rights. In a time where racism was very prevalent, not all history made during this time reflected that view.
Natasha Trethewey, undoubtedly one of the most well-known southern modern contemporary poets often expresses her feelings of poetry stating, “I think there is a poem out there for everyone, to be an entrance into the poetry and a relationship with it” (CITE). Trethewey was born on April 26, 1966 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Her parents, Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough and Eric Trethewey, were both prestigious workers in the community as a biracial couple. Trethewey’s childhood during the twentieth century was unlike any childhood during the twenty-first century. Growing up as a biracial child, during the Civil Rights Movement drove Trethewey to silence her judgements towards societies view of her.
She begins the poem by using words to describe the grandma’s house, all of which revolve around a country lifestyle. For example, she illustrates sitting on a porch swing, while watching the sun, “pushing its pink spikes through the slant of cornstalks” (Lines 3-7). This setting clearly places the two characters in the South, which has a connotation of having traditional customs and ideals. Just like how the mention of religion had an effect on the audience, this triggers the reader to already associate the grandmother with old-fashioned values, which sets up the theme later on in the poem. Parker brings up the opposing new values that the narrator has by depicting the her difficulty accepting her college environment.
This is not only referring back to the 1950’s equity framework. But, focus on the ever-show shamefulness Black America still battles with today. History has demonstrated to us how these one-sided practices have been permitted and now have turned into the preface of our nation. Here is a differentiated timetable of how America has advanced on the matter of racial treachery. Lillian Bertram was a very strong influential woman that wanted justice for Trayvon Martin so she used this poem as a way to help tell his story.
This can be seen in the structure of the poem. In the second stanza of the poem it states that the quilt has a “sweet gum leaf in each square.” (L:18 ) With this image the reader can see the freshness of a soft, green, spring leaf. This start of the leaf of a tree can represent the first memories that the speaker had with her sisters and her Meema.
Many Authors in American Literature used their short stories or poems to give the real details about race. Authors such as Thomas Jefferson, Phillis Wheatly and Henry Longfellow are just a few who wrote about these details in their works. Thomas Jefferson and Henry Longfellow being white mean used their color as platform to try and abolish slavery. Phillis Wheatly gives her reader an insight on what is was like to be a slave. In this essay I will be discussing the writes struggles with the issue of
Home Is Where The Hurt Is Is home really where the heart is? When one knows the history of their hometown, can they truly still uphold the same level of respect and admiration? The speaker in “South” by Natasha Trethewey battles this obscurity as they return to their home, Mississippi. As the speaker returns home, physical features of the state triggers reminiscence. Though these attributes are what makes home so special to the speaker, simultaneously it causes the poet to realize the meaning behind it all.
from the previous generation, Hurston is hurled towards a new era where she may succeed. The race, however, still continues and she “must not halt in the stretch to look behind and weep” for those who laid the path before her. These simple but purposeful metaphors allow the audience to sympathize with the plight of African Americans as they struggle to create themselves in a world that perceives them as lesser
“The war was over, the uniform was gone. All of a sudden that man at the store waits on you last, makes you wait until all the white people bought what they wanted” states Silko (46). Here, Silko portrays a mere one example among many of how racism influenced the common lives of American minorities. There are many examples all throughout the story. “They took our land, they took everything!
America has always possessed a rich tradition of racism and inequality. The "land of the free" was really built on killing and racial dominance. In Linda Hogan's poem, "Heritage," the speaker addresses her Caucasian and native American traits acquired from each family member. Readers of the poem might disagree about the influence of the relatives on the speaker, but a closer analysis helps us realize that the speaker's traits resemble her ancestor's past. The author uses descriptive imagery and connections to the past to explain how the speaker came about.
The excerpt from Claudia Rankine’s poem Citizen chronicles several instances of modern everyday racism that the narrator faces. Rankine uses her own experiences to demonstrate the microagressions and racism that African Americans face every day. While some African American individuals try to change parts of their world, other people who do not face the same oppression do not understand that it needs to be changed. Throughout the poem, the narrator’s character growth is marked by her willingness to stand up for herself and her race.
“Incident” by Natasha Tretheway brings to life the horrors African Americans faced during the time the Ku Klux Klan was rampant in the United States. Fear and secretiveness was an everyday part of African American lives. They were unable to live like white Americans were due to the racism they faced. This poem, however, symbolizes the idea that life continues through the fear of it crumbling. The narrator is still alive to tell his or her story; therefore, this is evidence that life continues.
*INTRO* *BLACK ROOK IN RAINY WEATHER* “Black Rook in Rainy Weather” is focused on her feelings and thoughts, her lack of inspiration – although it appears as if she is writing about the outside world. She uses her nearby surroundings as a metaphor for her feelings and ideas. Plath feels empty and longs for nature and her mundane surroundings to ‘speak’ to her, to provide her with inspiration for her poetry “A minor light may still lean incandescent out of kitchen table or chair as if a celestial burning took possession of the most obtuse objects now and then…” She is in a state of desperation, and describes her life as a “season of fatigue” with “brief respites from fear of total neutrality.” The poem is suffused with her fear of failing.