When Art Imitates Life: A Research And Analysis On The Creative Work Of Gwendolyn Brooks

1522 words - 7 pages

There have been many authors, poets, writers and artists that shaped the face of Culture. It is safe to say that even in this concept; many writers have subconsciously assumed the responsibility of making sure this theory is reflected in their work. This notion has also established a foundation designed to foster analytical ideals as well as expand the knowledge and definition of culture itself. This idea also gives the perception that validates the importance of writers and the need for their work to be studied. When fundamentals for creative writing is expressed through a measure of particular historical time periods involving certain locations and social events, this theory is apparent in close evaluation of creative works by Gwendolyn Brooks. By consciously, and sometimes subconsciously, allowing her life experiences involving different forms of racism to influence work, she inspired a generation to realize how racism can evolve.
Her home life was stable and loving, although she encountered racial prejudice in her neighborhood and in schools. She experienced different levels of racism that concluded her mindset of what was right and what was wrong; what was normal and what was considered unusual. In her poem, Primer for Blacks, from the book Primer for Blacks, she was able to display the conscious ability to use creative writing as a tool to bring fourth awareness. This poem was used to reflect her experiences that involved being transferred from an all-white school to an all-black school and the different levels of racism she encountered; both physical and emotional.
The use of the word “Primer” is a direct yet intelligent concept. It is direct in the sense that it show one clear and complete term, yet subtle in ways that allows you to initiate and process many point of views.
In one way the use of the word “primer” in the title “Primer for Blacks”, can be referred to as an introduction, briefing or the beginning stage for anything. In another way, the term “Primer” can simply carry a basic definition, which is a first coat or layer of paint to serve as a base. However, if used in as an adjective to distinguish blacks, it would simply mean seeing blacks as having great relevance and significance with the potential for great commercial value. Therefore, Brooks’ unique style and use of intricate simile permits readers to initiate critical thinking by allowing room to analyze and process her work. In close evaluation of the poem, “Primer for Blacks”, it is believed that the underlying element of race and identity is to be explored, not as a black or white issue, but a matter of self-evaluation and individualistic concern. The first part of this poem states:

“Blackness is a title, is a preoccupation, [and] is a commitment… Blacks are to comprehend-and in which you are to perceive your glory” (Brooks G. , Primer for Blacks, 1980).

This part suggest the very essence of what she perceives as black pride, to which “Blackness” is not just a word,...

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