Audre Lorde was born on February 18, 1934 in New York City Coal is one of her greatest poems Coal deals with themes such as discrimination, oppression and racism Coal deals with life and death Coal deals with hatred Coal deals with anger Coal deals with the black community Coal tells us about Audre Lorde’s life experiences during her childhood Coal inspires so many different emotions Coal helps us see life through the eyes of Audre Lorde Coal also shows us how good Audre Lorde was at using metaphors and sim.
Coal, by Audre Lorde, is a poem about black people. Coal represents black people’s dark skin. Coal also shows how hard African Americans worked in the mines to produce coal. Coal was used to make steel for railroad tracks. Coal became very valuable after the Civil War when black people were brought North for free labor. The speaker of Coal describes how Africans on plantations during slavery were homesick and longed to be back with their families on the coast. They were promised that if they did well on the plantation, then their masters would ship them home one day.
The slaves, who had never seen an ocean before, believed everything that their white masters told them because they wanted so much to return one day. But instead of being sent home at the end of their term, African Americans were taken to help turn the wilderness of Coalville into a Coal Town. As Audre Lorde explains throughout Coal, black people had no rights and they could not fight back when forced to work in hazardous conditions. Coal mines regularly collapsed on workers or filled with poisonous gases. Coalminers died regularly due to cave-ins, explosions, suffocation, and poisoning from contact with coal dust.
Even though black people were human beings with dignity, worth, and an inner life just like white people, they were treated as if they were invisible. They did not matter because black people were seen as less important than white people. Coal shows how badly black people have suffered tremendously during the Coal Age. Coal shows how black people have suffered and how Coal has changed over time so that today Coal is an industrial waste product instead of a fuel for energy. Audre Lorde uses personification when she says, ” Coal weaves stillness around me with heavy hands.
Coal weaves or ties stillness around the speaker because Coal has tied itself around the coalminer’s feet, body, arms, and neck as they work long hours in dangerous places such as mines to extract Coal from the earth. Audre Lorde also uses onomatopoeia when she says, “The weight of Coal presses down upon my brow. ” The speaker means that all of her thoughts and worries about Coal and its horrible history weigh heavily on her mind. Coal weighs down on the speaker’s brow because Coal is so oppressive to black people.
Coal has oppressed black people for hundreds of years, since the time when African Americans were first brought to Coalville as free labor during the Coal Age. Audre Lorde uses allusion when she mentions Reverend Lazarus in Coal. Reverend Lazarus was a preacher who realized that he could not find his way out of Coal mines, but instead chose to preach about God’s love from inside of an abandoned mine shaft. Audre Lorde also creates imagery by saying, “Heavy with heat. ” Coalminers work in hot conditions deep underground where temperatures are often over 100 degrees Fahrenheit near the coalface where they drill and dig for Coal.
Audre Lorde creates imagery when Coal is described as ” Heavy with the weight of centuries,” because Coal represents not only Coal itself but also black people’s suffering throughout history. Coal has been mined in Coal Mines for over 300 years, since the time when black slaves were worked under harsh conditions to produce Coal for their white slavemasters during the Coal Age. Audre Lorde also uses symbolism when she says, ” Coal , I want to bring you freedom! ” Audre wants Coal to be set free from slavery and oppression that outlawed black people and forced them into lives that produced Coal.
Coal is one of the few material things I have given away. Coal for Christmas, Coal for Birthdays. Coal as an emblem of my childhood poverty; Coal offered to new neighbors as a friendly gesture; Coal because someone was cold and Coal because it was Monday. Until one day Coal became associated with powerlessness and sorrow. On that day I decided that Coal would never touch my life again. Coal for me then became a verb, Coal meant the systematic oppression of black people; Coal was used to keep people in their place and Coal was used against all those who challenged this system.
It mostly affected the black race as they were condemned and their rights were constantly violated during those times. Coal shows us how black people have been discriminated against by whites in this society because of the color of their skin. Coal also teaches us about Audre Lorde’s life and her struggles as a black woman who was greatly affected by the exploitation of blacks in the United States Coal is a poem written by Audre Lorde to show us how she felt about the oppression of black people by whites. Coal was first published in Lorde’s first anthology called The First Cities: Collected Poems London: Women’s Press, 1984.
Coal is also found in her book The Black Unicorn New York: Norton, 1978. Coal has been said to be a biographical poem that deals with Audre Lorde’s experiences as an African American woman during the 1960s and 1970s Coal tells us how black communities were exploited and abused by white Americans Coal also opens up our eyes to many different things Coal is one of Lorde’s greatest poems because it deals with her emotions and shows how she felt about discrimination Coal deals with themes such as discrimination, oppression and racism Coal deals with life and death Coal deals with hatred Coal deals with anger Coal deals with the black people Coal is a poem that tells us all that Coal shows us Audre Lorde’s willingness to fight for her race Coal inspires so many different emotions Coal helps us see life through the eyes of Audre Lorde Coal also shows us how good Audre Lorde was at using metaphors and similes Coal has been said to be one of the greatest poems because it has such deep meanings Coal opens up our imagination Coal makes us think about things Coal makes us want to learn more about black history Coal makes us view this period in history through Audre Lorde’s eyes rather than just reading about it in a history book Coal can help open up our eyes and minds
Thesis: “Coal” by Audre Lorde retells the story of black people through the eyes of an African-American woman Coal shows us how black people have been discriminated against by whites Coal gives us insight into the life and mind of Lorde.