Rhythm and Resistance


Resistance is the refusal to accept or comply with something or the attempt to prevent it. This concept is integral to our American democracy. No society will naturally just become fair or equal. Our founding fathers knew that, and leaders all across the country still know it today. The only way it will happen is through the hard work of citizens. We do this by resisting inequalities, stereotypes, beliefs and systems that don’t support our ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We resist by the clothes we wear, the products we buy, the art we create, the protests we attend and the poetry we write. I hope that this collection demonstrates this idea that our country holds to be so important, and shows that there is still a lot of work we need to do.

While there is so much to resist in our society, each of my poems demonstrates resistance to how our society defines beauty. While one focuses on the stereotypes surrounding wearing glasses, the other two focus on beliefs about hair. In my poem “Cotton Candy Curls” I celebrate curly hair that won’t settle down and be straight. My entire life I’ve been conditioned to believe straight hair is prettier than curly hair, and my friends with straight hair regularly receive praise that I’ve never gotten. My poem resists the idea that my hair is less attractive. One line that shows this resistance is when I say, “Curly girl curly girl/What’s your spell to save/Us both from becoming flat?” These lines show that, like my hair, my personality is vibrant and hard to tame. Those are desirable qualities in a person, and they should be desirable in hair too. Ultimately, I hope the readers of my poems become more critical of society’s standards of beauty while at the same time I hope they become more appreciative of the beauty of their own bodies.

As a poet, this collection has helped me to develop a stronger understanding of myself as a writer and what it means to resist. Before this unit, I viewed poetry as way to write short, emotional works with rhyming words. Now I realize that poetry is so much more. It is one of many tools we have to shape ideas in society and resist the stereotypes and systems that surround us every day. After viewing many examples, I began writing my own poetry that resisted societal stereotypes. I used strong, vivid word choice and other writing techniques to celebrate and showcase the things that make me different. I have realized that writing can be a tool for change, and that I can let my voice of resistance be heard through my writing. For me, this means resisting beauty standards and promoting self-love, a theme I hope to continue with future works.

A Person's Eyes

A person’s eyes, A person’s eyes Eyes like the lamps of a lighthouse Eyes as bright as the light of day.

Fill these eyes with makeup Shadows, liners, mascara Eyes are like window to the soul Why cover them up with shades?

There is no such thing as beautiful eyes All eyes are beautiful.

Two Schools

I am a student

I am a student

I am a student who hates my school

I am a student who loves my school

I am a student who has to quietly ask permission to enter a room.

I am a student who walks in the room and talks to my friends as we are sitting down.

I am a student who walks in lines all the time.

I am a student who is free to move as I wish.

I am a student whose teachers tell me to take out notebooks and take notes.

I am a student who explores ideas on my computer

I am a student who wishes I had more freedom.

I am a student who feels freedom jump and dance in my heart

I am a student who wears a uniform everyday.

I am a student who gets to express my personality through my clothes

I am a student who memorizes

I am a student who learns

I am a student who feels ignored.

I am a student who feels loved.

I am a student who dreads school.

I am a student who feels excited about school.

Hatred And Aggression Towards Ruby Bridges.

This picture shows a small courageous girl walking to school with four grown men barricading around her, as she walks through hatred and aggression.

The girl is walking as if she had all the confidence in the world. Her head is held high and her eyes are looking straight ahead into the future.

The four grown men are keeping the Ruby Bridges safe from any violence.

Fresh tomatoes dot the wall the words that talk to Ruby Bridges.

Ruby Bridges is walking through the hostile, attitudes, and violent behavior towards her.

Ruby Bridges shouldn’t experience this kind of violence, aggressiveness, militancy, attack, assault, belligerence and enmity.

Ruby Bridges’s mother wanted her child to have a better education that she did and to have a good job when she grew up.

Ruby Bridges mother had some tough times but she wanted her daughter to have an easier life.

What Ruby Bridges did, so bravely, paved the way for other African Americans, making it easier for other blacks to go to white schools, get a better education and help improve relationships between black and white people.


Created with images by Arch_Sam - "Rainbow" • umezy12 - "Classroom"

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