Being Put On The Spot

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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Being Put On The Spot In the book Literature For Composition: Essays, Fiction, Poetry, And Drama, by Addison Wesley Longman, there are six poems that have a similarity within each other. As one can take a first look, those who are "minorities"� in the United States of America wrote all of these poems. Aurora Levins Morales, a Puerto Rican female, wrote "Child of the Americas"�. Langston Hughes, an African American male, wrote "Theme for English B"�. Pat Parker, an African American female, wrote the controversial poem "For the white person who wants to know how to be my friend"�. "To the Lady"� was by a female who was a daughter of Japanese immigrants, Mitsuye Yamada. As a Native American female, Nila Northsun wrote the poem "Moving Camp Too Far"�. And last but not least, Sherman Alexie, a Native American male, wrote "On the Amtrak from Boston to New York City"�.

One may also notice the title of each poem. Some of the poems have simple titles, and some have titles that are long as a sentence, and some have titles that capture the author's interest. But once the reader reads all of the poems, he or she will notice that each poem is talking to a specific group who are considered a "majority"� of the United States. In other words, White/Caucasian Americans are being on the spot. Some of these poems contain conflicts between the author's race and White people, and some show how the author's race can be a part of American history; however, those who are not the same race as the author can either overlook and/or misunderstand these messages.

Some of these poems show a struggle between two forces, and those forces are the author's race and White people. "Theme for English B"� and "For...