“The Great Pax Whitie”
In the poem “The Great Pax Whitie” Nikki Giovanni incorporates motifs pertaining to racism, religion and war. This poem is a little more complex compared to the previous poems I’ve read. I started analyzing this poem by defining the key words in the title. The first definition I got from the word Pax’ means a stable period under powerful empire. Given that, this time was during the civil rights movement the reader can assume during this time the African American community was under a powerful empire. The speaker speaks about different topics that are relevant to her life during this time. She incorporates some individuals from the bible and talks about the Catholic Church. This could possibly show controversy amongst the religious community. I believe this poem is written to explain how the individuals are under a powerful empire and they're struggling to get out of the situation. However this poem also shows how people can be judgmental. The speaker says “Noah packing his wife and kiddies up for a holiday row row row your boat but why’d you leave the unicorns, Noah huh? Why’d you leave them”? In the bible Noah was known for his art that carried several animals. The unicorn is a similar to an animal that isn’t consider real, but the speaker questioned that idea. She asked, why you would leave them”, however if they were considered animals they would’ve been on Noah’s Art. This poem seems to contradict everything society is trying to convey. I believe this makes the poem a little more complex than what it really is.