We Real Cool By Gwendolyn Brooks

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Gwendolyn Brooks wrote the poem “We Real Cool” in 1959 and was published in1960, right in the middle of the civil rights movement and only a couple years after the Brown v. Board of Education trial, which challenged racial segregation in schools. In the poem, a group of kid’s drops out of school allowing them to have a lot of free time on their hands which often leads to criminal activities. Many have interpreted this poem in different ways. One possible interpretation that I feel strong about is how African American’s struggled with segregation, making it almost impossible for them to receive a decent education resulting in future filled with struggles to make ends meet, ultimately leading them to give up and drop out of school. It may be…show more content…
By using this sentence structure Brooks conveys the level of education the pool players were able to achieve. The first two lines prior to the actual poem describe a group of seven pool players. During the 1950s pool halls were a popular hangout, mostly for delinquents who would use the hall as a cover for partaking in illegal activities. The world “golden” is often used to represent innocence and being young. The word “shovel” is a used to represent a digging of some sort. The combination of “golden” and “shovel” represents the kids burying their innocence and youth away for a life of crime. So already in the first two lines prior to the actual poem we can already tell that there’s seven young kids wasting their youth and innocence away at a pool hall while they should be at school learning. Throughout the poem you can see how not being in school has affected their grammar and made them illiterate, therefor making them seem the opposite of what they believe, uncool. Once the poem actually begins, one of the pool players is narrating he starts of by saying, “We real cool.” This incorrect grammar structure which shows how uneducated they are since they aren’t in school. Each line ends with the word “we” which is the start of the next sentence, however by having the first word on a different line, there is an unintended pause that doesn’t belong there. This makes the poem sound choppy between lines, the “we” at the end sounds
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