Nativity Book Report

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The book “Nativity”: ISBN 9780913441978, published in 2010, proves to be an engaging, yet informative piece. Written by, a Caribbean author, Lasana M. Sekou, the narrative of the poem is perfectly represented by its title. Sekou’s piece is concerned with the emergence, or birth, of a new culture through the oppression and enslavement of African people and the destruction of their civilisation, by the white Europeans. While the Europeans successfully managed to suppress the culture through their dominance, they were unable to foresee the new culture that was directly developed through their “intervention”.

The poem is a contemporary work, though the setting dates back to the 18th Century. The poet’s position is as one of the enslaved Africans. It seeks to put the reader into the position of the enslaved Africans, thus allowing the reader the ability to identify with them. Nativity accurately presents the birth of a new culture, through the vivid details and descriptive nature of the poem. This book report will look at the book’s attention to the detail and the role that each part of the enslavement played in aiding the development of this new diverse culture that we are a part of today.

Sekou helps us to understand that culture cannot necessarily be destroyed. The poet goes to lengths to show the attempted destruction of African civilisation through enslavement (“bitter work brought us here...” “...and pain from whipping, devilish white drunk us blood and sweat from the hueman slaves” ), but contrasts that idea with the introduction of hope for African civilisation. “Culture born here”, shows that culture can be developed through the most problematic circumstances.

The aspect of culture rejuvenation is also put forward by the poet as well as he compares culture with marooning. As the poet describes the maroons, he allows us to understand the non-violent resistance that we were taught in the course. Culture retention and escaping plantations served as...
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