“Poem for Black Boys”
Nikki Giovanni’s “Poem for Black Boys” highlights the idea of African American males regarding their issues with society. The title relates to the speaker message she is trying to convey in the poem by writing the poem to the individuals she wants to inform. It tells her point of view of how the Black Boys should act during the civil rights movement verses the non violent movement that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr tried to portray. The poem takes place during the civil rights movement in 1968. During this time in history there were different events where segregation and racism were present. The black boys were being treated differently based upon the color or their skin. The speaker would be Nikki Giovanni mainly because she is the writer of the poem and speaking from her point of view. I believe the poem was written to inform and enlighten the black boys about what should be done in the midst of the civil rights movement. The theme topic would be revolution and how it was important to speak up. She incorporates games and songs to show a better understanding of the rebellious tactics she believed in. The languages used in this poem were very short words but includes metaphors to make the poem more challenging. There weren’t many images that were being illustrated in this poem; however the use of imagery was used. The tone of this poem gives off a more violent attitude that influences black boys to stand up for themselves. Nikki Giovanni also uses allusion to convey her message to the black boys. She refers to Dr.King and Rap Brown and their position during this time. The speaker wants the reader to understand the idea of not following the rules or morals of the stereotypical black man, which makes them more of an important addition to the movement.