The American Dream in a Poem by James Emmanuel

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In his poem, “The Negro”, James Emmanuel indicates why African Americans are not prosperous when it comes to realizing the American Dream. He ideates that the constant racial stereotypes made of African Americans prevent non-blacks from noticing what they are individually capable of doing in order to succeed. When Emmanuel writes, “Never saw him, never can,” he seems to assert that whites do not have the ability to see past African Americans’ color which tends to be the very first thing they notice about them.

Emmanuel then seems to explain that whites don’t see African Americans as people they can relate to. They instead choose to categorize all African Americans as if they were all the exact same. The writer is hinting that whites regard all African Americans as menacing and or threatening which may be why they are at a halt economically. The reason being is that people who are non-black employers have a negative mentality of all African Americans which rules out blacks from being employed. An additional unfavorable stereotype in the poem relates to a wide-eyed clown which was what African Americans were cast as if chosen for a role. This stereotype is conveyed in the line “eyes a saucer”.

“Yessir bossier” appears to give readers the feeling that blacks are only capable of being servants who should know their place. The clichéd idea that African Americans are ingrained gamblers is also mentioned in the line, “dice a-clicking”. When Emmanuel writes the line, “razor flicking”, he may mean that there is a constant stereotype of blacks that leads people to think that all blacks are ferocious. This stereotype is similarly expressed in A Raisin in the Sun when Mama attempts to convince Ruth to tell her boss she has the flu to get out of work or else it would be assumed that she had “been cut up or somethin’.

” The idea that all blacks are violent results in many of them not being hired considering that the US economy is mostly dominated by whites. Within the compelling line, “The-ness froze him in a dance,” Emmanuel appears to be referring to the fact that African Americans do not have the ability to better themselves therefore they are “frozen”. Emmanuel is explaining that blacks are stuck due to the fact that wrongdoings are constantly expected of them. Lastly, Emmanuel writes, “A-ness never had a chance,” simply meaning the reoccurring lack of opportunity blacks regularly face

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The American Dream in a Poem by James Emmanuel. (2021, Nov 26). Retrieved May 30, 2024 , from

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