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In Amiri Baraka's poem, "When We'll Worship Jesus," what is the significance of his allusions?

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Introduction

In Amiri Baraka's poem, "When We'll Worship Jesus," what is the significance of his allusions? America 1972, she was in the height of her involvement in Vietnam, the height of her civil rights movement, chaos was all around, and direction with leadership was no where to be found. During those anarchic times some people turned to a more spiritual guidance, while others turned to violence. Some individuals would pray to a higher being, while others would pick up their guns. Some cry out to their God for change, and others relied on themselves to make change. This gap in social views is argued strongly by Amiri Baraka in his poem "When We'll Worship Jesus." ...read more.

Middle

They need to take action into their own hands. Baraka's poem goes hand in hand with Baby Suggs sermon in Toni Morrison's Beloved. The character says, "O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up," and "...love your heart. For this is the prize" (Morrison 88). The point that both writers are getting at here, is that if one does not love them self, and does not stand up for them self then who will? The difference though, is that Baraka pushes the envelope further by writing, "we'll worship jesus when he get bad enough to at least scare somebody---cops not afraid of jesus pushers not afraid of jesus, capitalists racists imperialists not afraid of jesus" (Baraka). ...read more.

Conclusion

It's not that he is saying that Christianity, or any other religion for that matter, is not progressive or revolutionary. But instead he is saying that to sit and do nothing, calling it praying, is just plain useless, even to the point of cowardice. That the only way to make change is to force it! "Build the new world out of reality, and new vision we come to find out what there is of the world to understand what there is here in the world! to visualize change, and force it. we worship revolution" (Baraka). To force it, call for revolution, and not only will we visualize change, but we will worship it. The change that the civil rights movement called for during these times, was a change that would need action to be taken. ...read more.

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