The literary works that I decided to compare are “Child of the Americas” by Aurora Levin Morales and “What’s It like to be a Black Girl” by Patricia Smith. These two works focus on the psyche of two women that are of African descent, the plagued by the historical American public perceptions of their culture. In these negative perceptions that played an important part of the individual’s psyche due to prejudice. It was misconstrued and distorted the minds of these young African American girls. The poems show how two young girls from two different American minority sub-cultures, view themselves in two totally different perspectives. One of the young girls wishes to identify with the culture and image of her African American ancestor’s slave owners; however the other one wishes to embrace and celebrate her African Latino heritage. In the poem, “What’s it like to be a Black Girl”, it takes a look into the mind of a black girl in a society that is fueled with racism and discrimination, both through race and gender. This person show the transitioning from a young black girl into young black woman and trying to accept her changing body. She has been taught to be ashamed of who she was, what she looks like, and where she came from. She wanted her features to look like those of them who are accepted in society. “It’s being 9 years old and feeling like you’re not finished,” writes Smith in the poem, “like your edges are wild, like there’s something, everything, wrong.” (Smith, 4). The poem is saying in this passage is that the girl sees her body changing right in front of her eyes but she also see herself as society sees her. She has been taught that what she looks like was wrong. When she say her edges are wild, she was talking about the changes her body was experiencing. The growth of her breasts and the area below was starting to arouse her. She feels very uncomfortable in her own skin.
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