Black Girl by Patricia Smith and Aurora Levin’s Morales’ Child of the Americas
Comparison between What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl by Patricia Smith and Aurora Levin’s Morales’ Child of the Americas
Issues of race and racism coupled with those of culture and multiculturalism, in the society constitute one of the problem areas in which different groups of people have had to deal with, some of them having to face the issues on a day-to-day basis. In light of this, various literary works have been produced with the view of expressing the existence of such problems and finding ways in which these issues can be handled (Gale Group, 2003). Such literary works come in the form of poems which include the likes of “Child of the Americas” written by Aurora Morales and “What it is like to be a Black Girl” by Patricia Smith, works which form the basis of this discussion. The two literary works explore to a personal extent the experiences of different minority groups within the American society with respect to how they embrace and understand their cultural make up and backgrounds. Like many other kinds of poems, some of which focus on similar themes, “What it’s Like To Be a Black Girl” and “Child of the Americas “have similarities and differences as exhibited in this discussion. These similarities and differences come in a variety of ways and these include elements like their content, forms and styles.
Similarities of the Poems
The similarities between the literary works, “What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl” and “Child of the Americas” lie in a lot of factors which relate to the contents of the works, their forms as poems and styles used by the authors in relaying the contents of the literary work as to the audience.
With reference to content, both the poems talk about the negative issues that associate with racism albeit from two different perspectives. In “What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl,” the persona speaks of the pressure that race adds to the already present confusion in the form changes that occur during puberty. In this poem, the author describes a girl of African descent who experiences confusion; a confusion which mares her life as she attempt to reconcile the changes that occur within her body from the age of nine years.
The persona in this poem at one point states that in her situation, a girl feels like her edges are wild. Here she expresses the discomfort she feels from the changes that go on within her own body irrespective of her race. She goes further to revel how in denial she is of the fact that she is black. With this feeling in mind, the persona goes to the extent of putting into her eyes, blue food colouring in an effort to make them look like those of white people. In spite of the pain she feels in trying to change her looks, the persona finds no answers from the efforts and only seems to sink more and more submerged into the confusion of being black.
In “Child of the Americas,” the persona portrays the difficulties she faces in not being the pure white girl within the society she lives in. The persona is basically affected by the historical American public discernment of her background. She herself is not sure anymore of how to consider herself in terms of her cultural background as she seems to have a mixture of many races. She however has the strong desire to identify with her actual historical culture although she finds her American culture not escapable.
The persona in expressing such feelings says that she is Caribbean and Spanish is her flesh to indicate that her ancestors are Spanish. She goes ahead to reveal how much rooted in her continent she is, an aspect which determines how her speaks. According to her, English, she speaks as the language of her consciousness and that she does with passion. To her English seems to be unavoidable as it is a tool she uses mainly for her survival in the society she lives in.
Additionally, both of these poems focus on the issues of gender as they affect the people of different races within the American society. Both the authors use the girls as their personas in advancing the theme of race, racism and multiculturalism in the society. Both the authors use female personas as their objects of focus. Further, both the personas have an African descent. The fact that the persona in the first poem is referred to as the blackgirl automatically qualifies her to be of African descent. The female character in “the Child of America,” according to the description she provides indicates that she is of a mixed race, an African race being one of them. It is stated that the character is a child of Diaspora who has been born of cultures that cut across continents. The persona says that she is from the United States while a Puerto Rican and Jew at the same time. At some point she indicates that Africa is in her although she cannot return to Africa.
The two literary works are also similarly in the sense that both are poems. As such, these works constitute the various elements of poetry. These elements include the likes of meter, rhythm, metrical patterns, rhythm schemes, lines and stanzas and visual presentation. Furthermore the two works fall under different genres of poetry (Strachan & Terry, 2000). For instance, different stanzas and phrases are used within the poems to bring out the visual presentations to the readers. For example, one is able to picture the desperation of the black girl in the first poem as she tries to make herself look less of a black girl by applying food colouring in her eyes and the way such an action hurts those very eyes.
Besides this, the “the child of Americas” in stating that she is a product of the ghettos, the readers are able to visualize the way of life in which the personal lives. Repetition as a literary element is also brought out in the second poem where the persona seems to put emphasises on her connections and disconnections with various regions of the world. In the third stanza, she says that she is not African and neither a Taina nor a European. At the same time she mentions of how Africa, Taina and Europe live in her and yet she finds no way of going back to such cultures; cultures which still define her. Also of importance to note is that both the poems are unrhymed. Each of the sentences in the stanzas end with different syllabus.
The tones which are used in the two poems are also similar considering the longing nature that exists among the two personas in the poems. Both the black girl and the multiracial one are in searching of something which seems to be inaccessible. Although the way the two embrace their situations with different attitudes, both of them yearn to be in a position where they can possess some definite identity. The black girl, trying to find out who she is attempts to consider herself better white than black. In light of the negative impression the society has towards her culture she is frustrated of t he facts that she cannot identify with what is considered right in the society and thus uses artificial means to make himself look different. All these efforts are however in futile as she seems to distort all her efforts at finding herself, even in the midst of the changes she is experiencing in her own physical body. The phrases like, “…that deny your reflection…” As used to denote the feeling the girl has as she looks at her fake hair colour in the mirror is a clear indication of her unsuccessful attempt in changing her identity.
In “the Child of America” the persona clearly yearns to have a connection with her actual culture. Although she accepts her new gotten identity as an American, she finds it hard to let go the cultures which are embedded in her flesh. She seems to consider learning English a tool of convenience and not out of outmost love for the language and the culture of the region. According to the persona, she is Spanish in her flesh since she grew up in the Caribbean Islands. However, she is more conscious of the English she speaks, and this, as she puts it she does with passion. To her, English it a tool and a craft. Seems like in her present society, she cannot survive without this language. Even though she has some Taina, African and European in her, the persona considers it impossible to enjoy these cultures since t here seems to exist no way back to these cultures. She seems to comforts herself by stating that she is none of the three cultures, seemingly to indicate her lack of capability to reconnect with the Taina, European and African aspects of her cultural Identity. Considering that she was born across different cultures of the world, an aspect she identifies as a crossroad, the author decides to rest on the belief that she is simply the child of the Americas, where diverse cultures are found.
With reference to the contents of the poems and the theme under which the writers relate their poems, the probable results of the poem to the readers would be the same. Both Patricia Smith and Aurora Levin’s strive to propagate acceptance and revelation of identity for all individuals in our society who have struggles in their identities. These authors voice their concerns over the issues of history as they relate to cultural and multicultural experiences especially for the minority in the American situation.
Smith relays to the audience the false perception that some races are considered within America and the effects it would have especially to the young minds. The vulnerable nature of the young and growing female children in the American society as portrayed in the poem clearly indicated the need for advocacy against such influences in the society. By demonstrating the yearning nature of the child of Americas, Aurora tends to express the need for individuals to accept their backgrounds and appreciate it whatever negative perception such cultural backgrounds are associate with. This author uses a person who seeks to understand her multicultural background with the views of understanding her real identity. This identity the persona pursues her social condition as described in the life she leads at the ghetto and being the child of an immigrant notwithstanding.
Differences between the Poems
Like the case is for the similarities within the poems, there also exist differences which are likewise, exhibited in the forms of style, content and forms.
The content of the poem first differ in the way each of them define the personas. In the Patricia Smiths poem, the character is brought out as a young black girl who while going through the changes that she experiences as a result of puberty, is in denial of her own identity. Although the black girl tends to relate with her ancestors who came to America as slaves, she finds it hard to completely accept herself and her culture owing to the negative ways in which their culture is portrayed within the society. As a result, she feels a lot of discomfort over her identity and tries to identify with a different culture.
By attempting to change the colour of her eyes using the blue food colour, the persona exhibits the desire to be of a different ancestry other than what she really is. The world around the nine years old girl in this poem seems to tell her that everything about her and her culture is wrong. The dyeing of her hair all to look white among other things basically portrays an effort by the girl to straighten out the things that are supposedly wrong with her, thanks to her race. Also in addition, the girls seem to be purely black as no mention of mixed race is made by the author within this piece of work.
The poem, “the child of the Americas” on the other hand, tends to relate to a woman who tries to keep in touch with her cultures irrespective of the fact that achieving most of her needs with regards to her attempts are not easy. The girl, who unlike the black girl is of mixed race expresses a lot of desire in knowing matters of importance in all her ancestral connections irrespective of the impossibilities. In the poem, the situations of Latin-Americans and their survival in the region are widely explored. Further, the description of these individuals is also elaborately provided. The phrases like, a ” a light skinned Mestiza of the Caribbean,” “a Puerto Rican Jew,” “an immigrant,” “a Puerto Rican Jew,” “my first language was Spanglish” and many others indicate a number of features with which a Latin-American can be described with. The Child of Americas expresses a lot of pride in indicating that she is a child of many cultures and seems to portray no regrets in referring to herself as the child of the crossroads.
The forms of the poems also differ to a great extent. While the “Child of America” is arranged in stanzas, one following the other and producing a flow in the story which the persona tells, what it’s like to be a Black Girl flows in one paragraphs with the lines following one another in the poem to relate to the readers the situation of the persona. However, both the poems are able to portray the message of the persona and relate to the themes of race and racism as intended by the authors.
The poem “Child of Americas” consists of five stanzas, each of which is made up of different numbers of lines. In total, the lines in the poem are twenty three with the numbers of lines per stanza decreasing with each stanza that follow one another. The first stanza constitutes eight lines, the second and the third stanzas six lines each, the fourth one two and the last stanza a single line. The poem, what it’s Like To Be a Black Girl, on the other hand, flows in a prose form. All the contents of the poem are put in one single stanza which constitutes numerous lines within it. All the ideas expressed within the whole poem are therefore found flowing within the single and long paragraph of the poem.
According to this discussion, the two works of literature, “What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl” by Patricia Smith and Aurora Levin’s Morales’ “Child of the Americas” undoubtedly relate to the theme of race and racism, an issue whose existence in the globe cannot be ignored. In addressing this subject, the two works of literature explore the cultural and multicultural aspects as indicated in the historical backgrounds of two personas, both of who come from minority groups in America. In advancing these significant features, the two poems have a number of similarities and differences as portrayed by the author in their contents, forms and styles, among other things. The similarities in these works include the likes of the themes of the poems, the African background of the personas, the negative view of the cultures of the personas, the tone of the pieces of art, the poetry forms of the works, the use of female characters and the ultimate purpose of the authors. As regarding the differences, the personas embrace differently their multicultural backgrounds, the forms of the poem in terms of the arrangement of the lines and the stanzas are different and the racial combinations of the personas’ background also vary.
Gale Group (2003) Twentieth Century Literary Criticism Annual Cumulative Title Index, Volumes 1-130, Connecticut, Cengage Learning
Reilly, K et al. (2003) Racism: a global reader. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe
San Juan, E, (2004) Working through the contradictions from cultural theory to critical practice. Bucknell University Press
Strachan, J.R & Terry, R.G (2000) Poetry: an Introduction, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more