4. THE RACIAL DIVIDE.
4.1- JOHN AGARD. "ENGLISH GIRL EATS HER FIRST MANGO".
"If I did tell she hold this gold of sundizzy tonguelicking juicy".
The racial boundaries established by the coloniser triggered the creation of a series of clichés and stereotypes whose purpose was to undermine the dignity of the native.
The poem combines eroticism with a subtle examination of this dividedness and seems to conclude that, in spite of these socio-cultural and ontological differences, it is possible to fins a realm in which to share common experiences:
- both the speaker and the English girl are trespassing these racial borders,
- the former offering a typical Car fruit,
- and the latter agreeing to eat it.
Here, every word can be interpreted from multiple perspectives, thus it can be understood as a means to illustrate the sexual initiation of an English girl.
The act of eating a Car fruit, so typical in ordinary Car life, turns out to be a mystery for the girl who does not know how she is supposed to eat the mango:
- Her asking for guidance emphasises the cultural disparity between:
· herself (Britain/EUR)
· and the speaker (Car).
- The girl eventually accepts to bite the mango, symbolically analysed as the breaking of the boundaries that separate these two world views.
The closing lines reveal:
- the distance that still exist between the 1st and 3rd Worlds
- and the lack of interest in getting to know more about cultures that are ignored by the W:
· after eating the mango, she asks for a handkerchief so that she can wipe its juice from her sticky hands.
· In the speaker's culture, nobody would wash his hands because that does not form part of their background.
· He wants the girl to lick her fingers, inviting her, thus, to partake of his customs.
4.2- MICHAEL SMITH. "BLACK AND WHITE".
" I went to an all black school with an all black name".
The poem can be inscribed in the "protest poetry" tradition, the best means to
· social injustice,
· political chicanery,
· racial violence.
- reflect on the black experience as a succession of misfortunes and frustrations for their fate is to be subdued to the white will.
- Allude to education and culture in an "all black" context and to black music as the marks of the AA and Acar identity.
He draws on lexical repetition to create a surprising ending: black + noun structure, reinforces the ironically frustrating twist at the end of the poem, where he reveals the real situation of the black population.