Saturday, June 10, 2017

Responses to poems by Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, and Ishmael Reed

Responses to poems by Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, and Ishmael Reed
”Culture” by Amiri Baraka
Baraka’s poem seems to be equating the oppressor of Jews and the oppressor black people as the Devil. However, in Dope, Baraka criticizes black people for using religion to quiet any discontent that other black people have for the social and economic systems in place, especially criticizing blaming “the Devil” for all social ills. What are the implications of equating oppressors to a supernatural evil rather than acknowledging that they are also human beings?
Jena Roberston

“I am New York City” by Jayne Cortez
Jayne Cortez accentuates the economic hardship and grit of New York City by personifying the city, pairing synecdoche and grotesque visual bodily imagery. New York City has its own personal “I” in this poem, directing the audience toward the filth (both literal and figurative) that affects Black residents there.

Ms. Cortez: How did you learn that sharing your grotesque truth could be one of the most powerful forms of vulnerability?
Samantha L. Adams

“Flight to Canada”
They have always been so quick to underestimate the intelligence of black people. But I wonder how they arrive at such a conclusion and has there ever been a time where black people did not possess intelligence?
Tarzra Jones

AALCI 2017


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