Renowned for her "small... terse portraits of the Black urban poor" (Richard K. Barksdale), the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gwendolyn Brooks here showcases the disparity created by social class and race. The worlds of wealth and poverty do not clash when they meet in this poem because they never do actually meet--the wealthy remain in their large homes as the destitute narrator and her companions drive by in their car. The narrator's tone is neither bitter nor "furious" regarding her situation, nor is she vindictive; she is merely stating the truth of the situation. The narrator's unspoken cry for help is the powerful and profound message in Brooks' poem as she explores the barriers we construct and perpetuate for ourselves.
*CCR cannot guarantee the accuracy or continued availability of this online text. Please notify us if you encounter any problems.
The Vintage Book of African-American Poetry, eds. M.cHarper & A. Walton (Vintage Books, 2000), pp. 190-191
Reading - Short Enough to Read Aloud.
Why is connection important? What does it enable? What does it impede?Can there be justice without equality?Is justice for all possible? Or will injustice always exist?How do we know or identify privilege?How does a person or community gain power or privilege?What is power? How does it work?