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Explore the way these poets examine racism in their culture

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Explore the ways these poets examine racism in their culture This is an essay in which I plan to look at poetry from a different culture. The culture which I am looking at is black Americans and the three poems that I am going to compare are all from around the 1960s. The poems that I am going to compare are; the Ballad of Birmingham, Incident and the Hurricane. The first poem I am going to look at is the Ballad of Birmingham. It was written to acknowledge the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15 1963, where a dynamite bomb went off in a black church, killing four children. This poem is written as a conversion between a mother and a child. It talks about how the child wished to protest, 'to make our country free', and how the mother would not let her child as it was too dangerous and the child could end up in losing her life. ...read more.


In the last stanza Cullen says that although he was in Baltimore for six months, this 'incident' was the only thing that he could remember from his journeys. This gives me the impression that this was the first act of racial discrimination that he had encountered, which I believe scared him and so was all he could think about, hence it was all he could remember. The final poem that I am going study is The Hurricane, which was written and sung by Bob Dylan. This poem is a true story which was written to commemorate the life of Rubin Carter and to make people aware of the terrible things which happened to him. Rubin Carter was a middleweight boxer who was number one contender for the middleweight title when he was wrongly accused of a triple murder and sentenced to life. The poem describes what happened in the bar in New Jersey which led to Rubin Carter being arrested. It then describes how 'All of Rubin's cards were marked in advance', meaning that he was set up and that the trial was rigged and that he was bound to be set to prison. ...read more.


testify against Carter, where the police officer says to Bradley, 'Think it might have been that fighter you saw runnin' that night, Don't forget that you are white'. This means to say that the whites must stand together and fight against the black community. In conclusion the three poems all explore racism in their culture in different ways, the Hurricane explores the way that blacks were treated unfairly in law and tries to convince the reader to feel sorry for the victim of the crime. In the Ballad of Birmingham the author looks at the way black Americans were targeted by terrorism and again tries to make the reader feel sorrow for the victims of the racial discrimination. In Incident, the author explores racism to black Americans by showing the innocence of a small black child whom was the victim of racial discrimination, although the discrimination did not lead to as serious results as in the other two poems, the poet keeps this poem simple to show that there was/is no reason for the discrimination however it happens all the same. ...read more.

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