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Comparison Of Puerto Rican Obituary And Pedro Pietri

Decent Essays
Compare and Contrast Essay Minorities struggle to break free from poverty, due to the systematic oppression and racism established in America. There is an odd belief that granting minorities rights would allow them to instantly be on the same playing field as majorities. However, the various deaths and unjust sentencings that have occurred for decades, prove civil rights were not the only problem. Pedro Pietri’s Puerto Rican Obituary and Wanda Coleman’s South Central Los Angeles Death Trip, 1982 shed light on what minorities face, with some stylistic differences. Pietri’s Puerto Rican Obituary focuses on the problems that the Latino community faces. Although the poem focuses on Puerto Ricans living in New York City,…show more content…
Although the deaths are confined to one location, the experiences and events are relevant across America and is representative of modern cases such as Trayvon Martin. The first theme the poem address is stereotypes and prejudices people have of African Americans. The voice described what the victims were wearing or doing during their time of death: dangling gold chains & pinky rings nineteen. done in black leather & defiance teeth white as halogen lamps, skin dark as a threat… strangely he was dodging & ducking, bouncing & rolling, tipping & slipping The police viewed their behavior as strange and criminal, judging them on the basis of their skin. The second theme the poem addresses is police corruption and cover-up. Each vignette ends acknowledging that the victims were innocent of their suspected crimes. However, law enforcement was not blamed for their death; instead the cause of death was implied to be the victim’s fault, for being black. Pietri’s poem is an epic while Coleman’s is a series of vignettes, making this the main stylistic difference. As a result Coleman’s poem is distinctively separated into nine vignettes, each focusing on different victims connected by the same underlying theme. On the other hand, Pietri’s poem is separated into stanzas and the five victims are always mentioned together. There is no separation between the characters, thus emphasizing that they have the
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