6. Read the poem by Phyllis Wheatley, and try to pick out a derogatory term or phrase that was used for black people in her time.
7. How does Phyllis Wheatley turn those negatives into a positive statement?
Poem for 6&7
On being brought from Africa to America.
by Phyllis Wheatley
'TWAS mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew,
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
"Their colour is a diabolic die."
Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,
May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.
8. Note that Marilyn Chin calls her poem "an essay on assimilation." After reading her poem, how do you think she feels about her cultural identity in America.
9. What stereotypes does Marilyn Chin refer to in her poem? Do you think stereotypes are related to derogatory language? Explain.
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