Black and White People's Contrasting Ideas About Wealth and Happiness Depicted in the Poem Nikki-Rosa

Black and White People's Contrasting Ideas About Wealth and Happiness Depicted in the Poem Nikki-Rosa

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In the poem “Nikki-Rosa” by Nikki Giovanni, the poet communicates through her childhood memories her belief that white people and black people have fundamentally different ideas about wealth and happiness. Along with her words, she uses structure, tone and imagery to convey her belief that white people and black people see their personal life-experiences differently. Wealth for black people is love, family, and togetherness, not tangible items. A sense of community and acceptance of one another are more valuable than having even a private toilet. White people see “black wealth” as a hard life and focus on the tangible things that are missing (i.e., a toilet or a bathtub) rather than the feelings of happiness about being together.
The structure of “Nikki-Rosa” is distinctive yet strong. The lack of punctuation helps to tell the story by revealing blunt thoughts about childhood experiences and special moments for the poet that are usually viewed as negative moments by another. The lack of punctuation in this narrative is unusually creative and adds to the flow of the story. There is ...

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