Summary Of The Poem 'There Are Black' By Jimmy Santiago Baca

Words: 882
Pages: 4

The author Jimmy Santiago Baca wrote the poem “There Are Black” once he was released from prison. Throughout the poem Baca writes about what he saw while serving his six year sentence in prison (Aldama 113). Baca gives the readers a glimpse into the way four different races are treated in prison. He also shows the readers how these prisoners live and deal with difficulty while being incarcerated. He uses descriptive language, personification, and free verse poetry to enlighten the audience of these experiences.
In the first stanza Baca shows how differently each race is treated in prison. It helps show readers how ignorant the prison guards are towards the inmates. The way the black prison guards treat the black inmates is very unpleasant,
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The mummy is something that takes over the guards when they are in the prison. The guards turn into horrible people that don’t care about the inmates at all. Baca wrote “a mummy that will not listen” this shows how the guards won’t listen to the inmates and how ignorant they are when the inmates may need help. The guards have so much command over the inmates but they make it worse for the inmates rather than better. Baca creates another metaphor that correlates the inmates to a cobra. Baca mentions how the inmates are “at the mummy’s feet” (Baca 31), showing that the inmates are desperate and begging for help. The inmates “become cobras sucking life out of their brothers” (Baca 33), this shows how merciless they are with one another. Prison turns everyone against each other that makes them fight or in some cases kill for whatever they have. In the final stanza Baca creates a metaphor of sand and dust that represent the innocent inmates “guilty of nothing but their own color” (Baca 37), it is not fair that these certain inmates are in prison just because of the color of their skin. The dust that comes from the inmate’s hearts is a metaphor that connects the inmates to their homes. Baca writes “from the gash in their hearts, sand files up spraying over houses and through tress” (Baca L40-41), this line shows that the innocent inmates still have an outside connection with their family and