Shane Reid Reid1
“homage to my hips”
Lucille Clifton was born and raised in Depew, N.Y. (June 27, 1936). She attended Howard University in Washington D.C. , Then transferring to Fredonia College near Buffalo, N.Y. It was when she attended Fredonia State Teachers College that she was experimenting and exploring poetry, drama, and other various things that went on to shape her writing. In 1971 she became a writer in residence at the Historically Black College Coppin State in Baltimore, MD. She received a creative writing fellowship From the National Endowment for the Arts in 1970 and 1973. The poem “homage to my hips” appeared in Clifton’s 1980 collection two- headed woman.(Brooks, The thoughts of a woman 1).
Empowerment is promoted in line1-3. “these hips are big hips they need space to move around in.(Clifton, homage 1-3) A persons natural instinct is to have their own space provided it be your own personal space or room to move about without adherence from others. The author speaks of empowering with her selection of words” they don’t like to be held back these hips have never been enslaved.(Clifton, 8). The speaker also implies that a parallel exists between the oppression of women and the oppression of African Americans.
In diction, the generality and abstractness of the words "free" (line 6), "held back" (line 7), and "enslaved" (line 8), as well as their connotations of the history of African Americans in the United States, help broaden, in more than one sense, what the hips represent to include racial as well as gender concerns. Hence,...
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