Racism has existed throughout human history. It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another -- or the belief that another person is less than human -- because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes ("Racism" http://www.adl.org/hate-patrol/racism.asp ).
Racism has also been the subject of many worldwide famous poets' work. Cornelius Eady, born 1954, is one among the many who deals with race and class in his poetry. He has published seven collections of poetry and has been awarded many honors, nominations for awards, and awards. His poetry output consists of: "Kartunes"(1980), "Victims of the Latest Dance Craze" (1985), "BOOM BOOM BOOM" (1988), "The Gathering of My Name" (1991), "You Don't Miss Your Water (1995) "The Autobiography of a Jukebox" (1997), and "Brutal imagination" (2001), later adapted into a play that opened off-Broadway at the Vineyard. "Brutal Imagination", which was a finalist for the National Book Award, also gave the basis for the libretto for a roots opera "Running Man", (1999 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), which was actually a rounding up of the collection.
Before any analysis of th...
as one poem or as a project" in his interview for the TBR (The Bloomsbury Review) Eady replied: "As the Susan Smith drama was being played out, a friend of mine, Chuck Wachtel, who's a novelist, came up with this brilliant idea of imaginary black men. He called me up and said he was going to do this book with different sections, with different writers and different approaches to the subject of imaginary black men. Chuck was going to write a novella, and he asked me to do a cycle of poems, and we were going to have a graphic artist, Sue Coe (a political painter emphasizing cruelty and indifference and influenced by artists such as Leon Golub, Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon, and, of course, Goya; she's best known for her book Dead Meat, a grizzly tour of slaughterhouses). But somehow the project lost steam. The verdict had come in, and Smith was sitting in prison. And I had gone to do other things, such as some theater pieces, Running Man and You Don't Miss Your Water. But I kept being nagged by this guy; an idea had taken hold, and I kept writing poems. So, at the end of Running Man I started reconsidering what the rest of those poems in Brutal Imagination were going to be like. Then I worked out the larger sequence" (The Bloomsbury Review, Vol.22, #1, 2002 http://www.bloomsburyreview.com/Archives/2002/Cornelius%20Eady.pdf ).
Among the many extraordinary poems that comprise this collection, such as: How I Got Born, What Is Known About The Abductor, Uncle Tom in Heaven, Who Am I, Press Conference, Sympathy, My Heart, Birthing, etc., the poem My Face is the one that grabbed my full attention and the one I will try to present as my own understanding of it in correlation with the rest of the poems from "Brutal Imagination".