Analyzing the American Literature Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

American Literature: The Black Woman Poem by Georgia Douglas Johnson

American Literature

The Black Woman poem by Georgia Douglas Johnson

What points or themes emerged from the poem?

Fight against nature

The main theme in the Black Woman is the struggle against a literal and natural desire to give birth. This theme is seen in a line where the woman poet states that she must not give birth. Giving birth for a black woman in such an environment where blacks are discriminated against would not be a joyous thing for any mother. In this poem, Georgia Douglas, depicts a world that is anti-black and would not take kindly to more black people being born into this world. The poem depicts a worst case scenario in which racism had spiraled out of control leading to a prevalence of blatantly open discriminatory practices (Papke, 2010). Thus, the poet depicts a world which is almost like what we are currently going through; a world where black people are discriminated against, a world where a black woman will not have access to proper healthcare or maternity care. This could create difficulties at the hospital (where most of the nurses are white) and the mother may not receive the kind of professionalism or dignity that the mother requires. This denaturalizes black women and appears to make them suppress their wish to give birth (yakmax, 2014).

If you had written the poem, what would you have done differently?

The poem has sentimental value and the physicality used to accentuate the oppression towards the end of the poem vitiates the plane of thought; the poem loses some of its sensitization, the poet attempts to deliver.

What would you have kept the same? Why?

There is nothing else to change in this poem. The poet, Georgia Jackson, utilizes short lines with such finesse, that the repeated use relays the intensity of the feelings the poem seeks to convey to its audience. The short lines also present a thematic meaning to the Black Woman as the message is clear and does not require any further clarification of the stresses black women face. The poem carries the feelings of an oppressed class, more so the women, adequately.

"Still I Rise" - Maya Angelou

Which ending would you like to change?

"That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?"

Why would you change that particular ending?…

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