Gwendolyn Brooks Thesis Statement: In her poem, “The Mother”, Gwendolyn Brooks, an Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner in 1950, demonstrates her mastery of the use of mood, tone, and atmosphere. I. Background/Biography A. She was born in Topeka, Kansas on June 7, 1917. B. Brooks attended 3 high schools, and graduated from Wilson Junior College, having already begun to write and publish her work. II. Interesting Facts/ Rise to fame A. Brooks married Henry Lowington Blakely Jr. in 1939. The couple had two children, Henry and Nora. B.
She believed that milk has restorative powers and used to bathe in it once a month. C. A turning point in her career came in 1967 when she attended the Fisk University Second Black Writers’ Conference and decided to become more involved in the Black Arts movement. III. Major Selections (3) A. A Street in Bronzeville B. Annie Allen C. In the Mecca IV. 1 Major Selection (Analyze) A. Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “We Real Cool” identifies the struggle that Black American kids went through to define themselves in the late fifties and early sixties, in a society that was trying to keep them away.
The poem portrays a group of young black boys who hang out in a pool hall and do illegal activity instead of going to school with the rest of their friends. The boys are insecure about their role in society; they talk big so that they can hide behind their image of being a tough guy or a thug. These boys feel as though they do not have a place in society outside of being a criminal, but instead of fighting the stereotype of the lazy black man they give in and become what they are expected to become by white, upper-class society: The Pool Players. V. Literary Elements A. Tone B. Diction C. Imagery