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I Am A Black Woman Analysis

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I Am A Black Woman Analysis
When reflecting on history, it is evident that there has been much struggle for Black people, especially woman. The poem, “I am A Black Woman,” by Mari Evans, portrays a relationship between Black women of our history and today’s society. By the usage of vivid and inspiring words, Evans is able to capture the reader’s attention. It is clear that the speaker is a very strong black woman. She portrays this in a way that she describes moments where she has struggled and when other black women of history have struggled as well. She implies that those hard times have made her the person she is today, which is the main point of this poem.
In lines 1-2, Evans uses a style of language that portrays that who she is has come from what she has been through and she is proud of it, “I am a black woman/ the music of my song” (1-2). These lines are saying her pride in being black is her best attribute. In this short line much meaning is present, and can be interpreted many ways. Evans writes, “some sweet arpeggio of tears/ is written in minor key/ and I can be heard humming in the night/ humming in the night” (3-9). An arpeggio is a chord that is played the notes of a chord played in succession, either ascending or descending. This relates to the constant battles that the speaker repeatedly as a black woman.

In the second stanza, the speaker states “I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea and I/with these hands/cupped the life breath from my issue in the canebrake” (10-12). It is seen that the speaker is talking about the past and is reflecting about it. The elaborate usage of words provides the readers with an understanding of what it was that the speaker was refereeing to. These lines depict a horrifying moment where the speaker witnessed her husband or “mate” being taken for slavery and being sent away by sea. Following this, in lines 13-17, its reads, “I lost Nat’s swinging body in a rain of tears/ and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio/ for Peace he never



Cited: Evans, Mari. " I Am a Black Woman." Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. 10th ed. New York: Person Longman, 2012. 844. Print.

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