Good morning/afternoon, my name is Angus I am here today to discuss the poem ‘Colour Bar’ by Oodgeroo Noonuccal with you. Studying poetry is worthwhile endeavour because poetry shows the versatility and power of language and it is a way of expressing feelings and emotions. I will now read a section of my poem to you: “When vile man jeer because my skin is brown, this I live down but when a taunted child comes home in tears, fierce anger sears.”
I chose Colour Bar because it shows the harsh side of Australian culture and how racism is a very common factor in society and affects many lives. It tells us a story of a brown skinned child who is blaming god for being born brown and for the racism on his people. Anyone can understand this as everyone has either been a victim of racism or have witnessed it. I myself am strongly against racism as it can tear lives and families apart.
This poem shows how having brown skin can affect their everyday life with all the hatred and racism put on them just because of the way they were born, something they could not control yet they are judge so unfairly for it. You can really feel the emotion and anger put into the poem. I believe the purpose of this poem is to show the meaning of ‘colour bar’, it's a social system that denies black people the same rights, opportunities and facilities that white people have access to.
The author of this poem, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, formerly known as Kath Walker, born in Stradbroke Island Queensland, Australia on November the 3rd 1920, died September 16th 1993 aged 72. She was an Australian poet, political activist, artist, educator and a campaigner for Aboriginal rights. Best known for her poetry and was also the first Aboriginal to publish a