Quest for The Dream in Black Girl Lost and Makes Me Wanna Holler

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Quest for "The Dream" in Black Girl Lost and Makes Me Wanna Holler

Donald Goines Black Girl Lost (1973) and Nathan McCall's Makes Me Wanna Holler (1994) are two works written by male authors who have first hand knowledge about the African American experience. A difference between the two works is that McCalls story is an autobiography of his life growing up in the streets/ghetto and Goines is a fictional story about growing up in the streets/ghetto, but from a young black female perspective. Although Goines Black Girl Lost is not an autobiography, he and McCall share similar struggles and hardships in their backgrounds that give them the motivation to write about the black experience. Both authors have been praised for the "realism" in their writing (Lamb 1997,OCAAL 1997). Goines has been specifically recognized by critic Greg Goode, for his "ghetto realism" w/o glamorization (OCAAL 1997).

Black Girl Lost (Goines 1973) and Makes Me Wanna Holler (McCall 1994), both give a voice to the African American minority. The African American and minority themes: "The Dream" and "Choice / Self Determination" are very significant in the two texts. The right choices have to be made and one must continue to have self- determination in order to reach "The Dream". In the two texts, both characters make plenty of good and bad choices and continuously try to have self- determination in order to achieve "The Dream", but their choices and determination led the characters to very different places. There are three variables that may not cause, but can contribute to the African American not being able to achieve "The Dream" by causing conflict in their choices and self- determination. The three variables are: family and friend environments, individual needs and anxieties, and low motivation among minority members. Some of the variables are causes and consequences of prejudice & discrimination (Marger 1997).

The environment that people are surrounded by can have an enormous effect on their actions or circumstances that they are in. Therefore, the first variable to compare and contrast in the two texts is the Family and Friends Environment. In Black Girl Lost (1973), Goines has his main character, Sandra, being the only child of a single parent home were her mother is constantly drinking, entertaining different men, partying and never taking the responsibility for herself or her daughter. They hardly ever eat or have any money.

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