“A Historical Footnote to Consider Only When All Else Fails”
Nikki Giovanni’s “A Historical Footnote to Consider Only When All Else Fails” talks about different Historical events during the civil rights movement. The title of the poem essentially explains the message that is being conveyed in the poem. I believe this poem is written to inform the audience on historical events that are occurring. However, Nikki Giovanni makes this poem a little complex. It is complex because of the sarcasm that is being used. I think sarcasm in this separates what’s morally and ethically correct. For example, she says “We must move on to the true issues of Our Times like mini-skirt rebellion”. This is where her sarcasm takes place and makes her idea’s a little scattered if you’re a first time reader. The tone of this poem is very influential that could possibly persuade the audience into understanding the important problems rather than the minor issues that the white community wants them too value. After analyzing this poem it seems like the speaker is trying to show competition between the white and black communities. I inferred this idea from the stanza that talks about the ‘The Temptations’ (singing group) and the CIA which was more similar to the government and the white community. It says “And I expect you to realize that the temptations have no connection with the CIA”. Nevertheless, the competition never seemed to cease between the black and white communities.