Beasts of the Southern Wild

Word Doc: Beasts of the Southern Wild Longform Essay

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a film dedicated to creating a unique story about climate change, poverty, death, myth, and community. Though the movie seems messy and confusing, it is the simplicity of the characters’ lives that makes the fantastical, mythical story one that is relatable and heartwarming.

Through the opening scenes of the film, the audience can see that clearly the main characters live in poverty. Six-year-old Hushpuppy and her father, Wink, each have their own houses, both entrenched by a heaps of junk. Old tires scattered at every turn, rusted automobile fragments, grass as tall as Hushpuppy herself, and farm animals living in and outside the house. Hushpuppy wears the same orange underwear, raggedy camisole, and ill-fitting jeans for almost the entirety of the film, and the other characters wear old, dirty clothes as well. It seems like a wasteland on all fronts, but the resilience of the Bathtub and the people who live in it show that self-efficiency has value. Wink catches food for everyone, whether it be chicken or seafood, and there seems to be an abundance of it before a massive storm, presumably a hurricane, comes through. Even then, the community bands together to drain the water in an effort to remain independent. Some believe that the film glorifies poverty, like Thomas Hackett, a writer and filmmaker from Austin; he says the film is “…sentimentalizes poverty and glosses over neglect, and that it skirts tough questions by resorting to a half-baked and naïve fable.” The film does not make poverty look like fun. Surely there are moments in the film where there is happiness, floating in the pools of beer, but that goes to show that poor people can have fun too. They can be happy too. There is nothing glorious or romantic about the lives of these characters, they just are not miserable about it. There is a common argument that poor people chose to be poor because they do not work hard enough to climb to socioeconomic ladder to success, but those that live in the Bathtub clearly are not lazy. They work hard to survive; they simply do not want anyone’s pity. As far as Wink’s treatment of Hushpuppy, he obviously is not a gentle father, but he takes care of Hushpuppy and he does love her in his own way. Nothing excuses the moment where he slapped Hushpuppy, but at no other point in the film does the audience have reason to suspect that he is an abusive father. The people of the Bathtub have a culture that is very different from the ones on the mainland, but simply because they are different is not reason to label them “wastrels,” as Hackett describes them. In regards to the comment about the film being a “naïve fable,” Hackett fails to understand that this is a six-year old’s story. If by naïve he means innocent, that is what should be expected of a little girl, on the verge of being orphaned, trying to make sense of the world as it breaks around her. The Bathtub may be defined by grit and grime, unsophisticated in nature, but it is rich in its sense of community.

The Bathtub, formally known as Isle de Charles Doucet, is a fictional island off the coast of Louisiana, which is why the audience can assume that the major storm that hit the island is a hurricane. In the beginning of the film, Hushpuppy is introduced to the concept of climate change. In a quite blunt manner, her teacher, Miss Bathsheba, breaks the news to her students: the Bathtub will sink as a result of polar ice caps melting. She makes it clear that this is a matter of fact, and there is no reason to be upset about it. In Hushpuppy’s imagination, the aurochs are trapped in ice and once the ice melts, they will be free to feed on humans as they did long ago. The aurochs seem mythological in the film, but they actually did walk the earth not too long ago. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, they are an extinct species of the wild ox that roamed Europe until the 17th century. The idea that they all froze during the ice age was fabricated by the filmmakers. The co-producer of Beasts, Michael Gottwald, said in a National Geographic interview the inspiration behind choosing the aurochs was rooted in director Benh Zeitlin’s fascination with cave paintings he saw in Lascaux, a famous cave in France (Berlin). The beasts are mythical here, but they help Hushpuppy make sense of the world collapsing around her. In the exposition, Hushpuppy understands that all living animals have a heartbeat, but she does not quite know what the heartbeats say. She can only assume that the animals have basic needs as she does, like feeding and excreting; however, there are times where “they be talking in codes,” which are completely incomprehensible. For her, a heartbeat is not the only thing she does not understand. With her mother gone, Hushpuppy makes sense of her absence by using her imagination. She talks to her as if she is still there and she uses her mother’s old red jersey as confirmation that she is still there with her. The aurochs are no different; Hushpuppy grasps her father’s illness and eventual death through these mythical beings. In the same interview, Gottwald explained Hushpuppy’s relationship with the aurochs: “[w]hen you’re a kid of that age, there’s no separation between reality and fantasy. In Hushpuppy’s world, her dad dying and the storm coming means the world is falling apart. And the aurochs are a key reflection of that” (Berlin). Knowing that she is the only one left in her family, she deals with the idea of being forgotten by determination that she will keep her memory alive. She draws pictures of herself and her family, much like the cave paintings of the aurochs. Hushpuppy believes for most of the movie that because her family is dying out, and the aurochs will come to replace her. But by the end, she realizes she and the beasts are not so different after all. Both of their existences were challenged by climate change, but both were strong animals that outlasted the environment. Not long after she confronts the beasts, she confronts her fear of her father dying. Again, the story may seem fantastically out of reach, but it highlights the very human challenge of dealing with loss and life after loss.

The moment of Wink’s death is another endearing, relatable moment in the film. All throughout the movie, Wink was a hard, brash, guarded father. He braved a harsh face for the harsh world he lived in, but his effort to remain strong in times of difficulty is admirable. No one on the island seems defeated about any adversity, but especially Wink. His great love, Hushpuppy’s mother, left him with Hushpuppy when she was very young, but he seems to easily accept that it is his job to take care of his daughter. At no point does he treat Hushpuppy like a burden; in fact, he empowers Hushpuppy to be strong and independent. It might seem strange to give a six-year-old her own trailer, and maybe it is considering she almost burned herself in it, but Wink knows he is going to die soon. He is preparing her for a world where is not there to take care of her. Wink also empowers Hushpuppy by not instilling the typical gender roles for a little girl. He teachers her how to catch her own fish and calls her “boss lady” and “man.” At one, point, he tells Hushpuppy she is going “to be king of the Bathtub.” Juxtaposed with Hushpuppy’s explanation of the aurochs, “[w]ay back in the day, the Aurochs was king of the world,” Hushpuppy is again a new embodiment of the aurochs. Finally, when Wink is on his death bed, he lets his guard down and allows both himself and Hushpuppy to cry; there is no more hiding from the fact that Hushpuppy is going to be an orphan, but that does not mean she is going to be alone. She has her community, and she knows her mom is out there somewhere. She knows that she will not be forgotten. In the words of Hushpuppy herself, one day scientists will know that “once there was a Hushpuppy, and she lived with her daddy in the Bathtub.” Unfortunately, many people have lost their parents at a young age, whether it be by death or otherwise, which is one reason why this story is so relatable.

In the film, there was a motif of floating dust particles in the air. One of the first instances we see these particles is when Wink relays the story of Hushpuppy’s conception. The food that her mother cooks in the flashback is what causes the floating particles to occur. The next time this is seen is when Hushpuppy visits her mother at the near the end of the film. Never was it explicitly stated that the woman was her mother, but the floating dust in the air from her kitchen indicates to the audience that this is indeed her mother (amongst other indicators like the alligator and beer). So, already, we see that particles and her mother have a connection. Why would the creators make this the symbol of Hushpuppy’s mom? In the last lines of the film, Hushpuppy delivers a closing soliloquy: “When it all goes quiet behind my eyes, I see everything that made me flying around in invisible pieces. When I look too hard, it goes away. But when it all goes quiet, I see they are right here. I see that I’m a little piece of a big, big universe.” The invisible pieces that she sees are the remnants of her family, so she knows that they are always with her. The reason they are small is to stay consistent with Hushpuppy’s revelation that she only makes up a tiny fraction of the world, and there is a place for her to fit in, even she and those around her are gone. Just like the beasts, this is her way of making sense of the world. Anyone in the audience could take her wisdom and find strength in it, no matter how mythical or fantastical the story is.

Beasts of the Southern Wild tells an unconventional story, but one that can connect a wide audience. It is charming in its own way through the use of a little girl determined to be remembered. Though she is young, she is brave. Hushpuppy uses her philosophical imagination to understand why her world is the way it is, what the heart beats are trying to say. By the end of the movie, she accomplishes that, eliminating the literal and metaphorical beasts she feared all along.

Works Cited

Beasts of the Southern Wild. Dir. by Benh Zeitlin. Perf. by Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry. Fox, 2012.

Berlin, Jeremy. “The Story Behind ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild.’” The National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 17 July 2012,

Hackett, Thomas. “The Racism of ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild.’” The New Republic, The New Republic, 19 Feb. 2013,

A Day of Disability. A Day of Enlightenment.

Reset. Once more, I hit reset. I needed five more minutes. It was 9:30 am, and I had hit snooze for the fourth time. With my class starting in about 30 minutes, I begrudgingly rose from my bed, reluctant to start the day. On any other day, I would have brushed my teeth, washed my face, changed out of my pjs, and flown out the door, but today was different. Today, was I had a physical disability, which I had the privilege of easily forgetting, as I had that morning. In fact, I didn’t remember it was my day of disability until I approached my bathroom door. To enter the bathroom in my residence hall, Hinton James, you have to cross over a step. For some disabilities, this would not be a problem, but for others, this would be an impossible task. From that moment on, and through the rest of the day, I remembered that I would have to throw my privilege away, and begin to think like one with a physical disability. To make the challenge more personal, I decided to picture my sister and what her experience might look like if she attended my beloved Carolina. 

My 17 year old sister, Anna, was born with type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA II), a form of Muscular Dystrophy that weakens the muscles over time. Usually, those living with this condition cannot walk, have trembling fingers, feeding and skeletal issues (“Spinal Muscular”). If she had wanted to use my bathroom, she would need to have someone carry her in or have access to a ramp, assuming that the door was wide enough to fit her electric wheelchair. With Anna in mind, I quickly realized that I could run as late as I did on a weekday; many of those who suffer from chronic diseases have daily treatments that are essential to their well being. From personal experience, I know that Anna does not need to wake up on time but wake up early to do her breathing treatments that take at least 20 minutes, and this is all with the mandatory help of a caretaker. I could only imagine being a college student living away from home but still needing assistance on a daily basis. This is just one of many obstacles that students with disabilities face.


My first step out of my building, and I had already broken the rules of a day with a disability. The main entrance has steps in front them, which I used out of habit; again, I had the privilege of forgetting about my temporary disability. Thankfully, all the 3 buildings I had classes in that day had wheelchair accessibility, which is not always the case at UNC (“Building”). Because I was running late, I decided to take my usual short cut to the Stone Center, where my first class of the day was. I didn’t realize until today, but in order to take that short cut, I have to walk on mulch. Although some disabilities would find no problem with this, someone with a wheelchair might have a bumpy ride ahead of them. Once in my first classroom, an auditorium, I quickly realized that I couldn’t sit just anywhere as I normally would; if I were in a wheelchair, then I would have to sit in one specific area made for wheelchair accessibility (I didn’t here because I have a classmate that actually uses that space). For other disabilities, it might be important to be close to the door in order to exist with easy access. Once I was settled in, I followed the class as I normally would. However, it is important to note that if I had a disability such as my sister’s, I would not be able to take out my notebook from my backpack, move chairs, nor use the bathroom without the help of an assistant or friend. Many students with disabilities are sometimes if not always dependent on another person.

Image result for stone center unc

Though most of the buildings I went to were handicap accessible, I found little inconveniences every on campus. For example, Bingham’s wheelchair accessible entrance is on opposite end of where the elevator is; a minor problem to us, but annoying nonetheless. Also, one building’s accessible entrance may not be in the same vicinity as another. When I left Bingham, I had to take a long route around Greenlaw to get to Lenoir, all to avoid stairs. Stairs aren’t the only problem; so much of UNC’s campus is not just brick, but broken, lopsided brick that does not make for smooth travels for wheels. In addition to driving over unreliable brick walks, it would prove quite difficult for a wheelchair to effortlessly maneuver through a sea of people during class transitions. I have enough trouble walking through people as it is, often left with no other choice but to walk on the grass. Concerns like these are only the tip of the iceberg.

As mentioned before, my residence hall would certainly not suffice as easily accessible for students with a disability, not only in its architecture, but in its location as well. Hinton James is quite far from main campus. Considering residence halls near north campus are mainly hall style and on campus apartments are all on south campus, I could imagine it would possibly be best to live in off campus housing for someone with a physical disability. However, if you were a first year, that would require special permission as all first years are required to live on campus. After that, the student would apply for medical or non-medical mobility to access the necessary parking required, assuming the student has access to their own transportation. Otherwise, the university has exclusive transportation for students with physical and mental disabilities called EZ Rider. These applications are all on top of the general information one would include in the application to the university admissions office and the formal registration post admittance to the Accessibility Resources & Services department. That is a lot of extra time and effort put upon a student that not only lives with the everyday stressors of having a physical disability, but bears the same stressors of an average college student. It would certainly be enough for me to want to give up on my dreams, take the easy way out, which should never be the case for a student with a disability. In an article written for the ADA Legacy Project at UNC-CH, Lindsay Carter not only highlighted this struggle, but offered solutions:

It starts in the classroom. Professors and faculty can learn to work with all students in a way that makes the classroom an easier and more comfortable environment for students with learning disabilities. Training faculty in these techniques would be cost-effective, and fewer students would need to seek individualized accommodations. We can also offer trainings to students about how to advocate for themselves.

Students with disabilities should not feel like a burden to others nor themselves; however there were times during the day where I would feel bad taking the elevator up to the second floor and asking my friends to sit somewhere more accessible. These are only two instances that I could experience, but if I were actually in a wheelchair, I’m sure the list would go on. Once, my bus was stopped to load someone’s wheelchair onto the bus. It was a hot day and I had somewhere to go, but I was understanding of the situation. I never considered how the woman in the wheelchair felt, but I hope that she did not feel burdensome. Other moments I reflected on were classic college experiences that I would not have if I were bound to a chair. For example, many students like to climb over the gates at Kenan Stadium late at night and walk on the football field. Obviously, this would be completely impossible for someone in a chair. Another carolina tradition is rushing Franklin Street after a win against Duke. Besides the fact that it would be difficult and time consuming to get to Franklin, it would be nearly impossible to move freely among the swarm of people, tightly packed like sardines. Even during the week, when schedules tend to be set by classes and extracurricular activities, there are countless times where spontaneous plans are made. For someone with a physical disability, that spontaneity could easily turn into another headache.

Image result for 2017 franklin street national champions

The experience of being a student with physical limitations is not all encompassed within this post. There is so much more to be discussed on the matter, and there is so much more for me to learn. Because I grew up with my sister, I have a heightened awareness of the issues these students might face, but that does not mean that I did not learn from this experience; I certainly did. In fact, there is still much I do not know. That being said, I cannot express how thankful I am for this project for the insight it offered into opening the door for discussion and understanding on issues of disability. So often, these are the voices that are the softest, and it is time someone raised the volume.

Works Cited

Carter, Lindsay. “Neurodiversity in the Classroom: One Student’s Proposal.” The ADA Legacy Project at UNC-CH, WordPress, 13 May 2014,

“Building Abbreviations/Accessibility.” Office of the University Registrar, UNC Chapel Hill,

“Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2.” Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,

Blog Post #2: Barbie Doll

In Barbie Doll, Marge Piercy tells the short but upsetting tale of a young girl who did not fit society’s harsh standards. Through this poem, Piercy uses diction and metaphor to convey a strong feminist message that there are harsh standards imposed on women by society, which can be compared to symbols centered around gender from Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood.

To begin, the first line of the poem identifies the subject as the “girlchild,” both words girl and child possessing connotations of innocence. The typical rhetoric of patriarchal societies tends to infantilize women, to make them smaller or younger, as if women do not age or grow; calling women “baby” as a term of endearment exemplifies this tendency. It is evident from just the second word of the poem that Piercy’s use of diction is well executed. The lines that follow continue the innocent, childlike nature of a girl who was “born as usual,” meaning she was interested in what is usually assigned to girls like “dolls that did pee-pee / and miniature GE stoves and irons / and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.” The dolls that pretend to urinate highlight society’s emphasis on a woman’s role as a mother, but women are, of course, so much more than just their capabilities to be mothers. Yet, a such a young age, that is what women are reduced to. This is reminiscent of Nightwood character Robin, who not only rejected her role as a mother to Guido jr. but her imitation of a mother to the doll she and Nora shared. Robin was not interested in a life as a woman according to society’s standards, which was evident in her masculine dress and especially in her violent attack on the doll. It is worth noting that again Piercy is drawing attention to the stress of smallness in what the girlchild presented by use of words like “miniature” and “wee.” The lipsticks are also described as being of a “cherry” color, which could be playing on the sexual connotation tied with cherries. Too often, girls are hyper-sexualized at very young ages; for example, little girls are deterred from wearing lipstick because it appears as if they are “sexy.” Though the thought of this is appalling, so much of the expectations but on women are.

Later, the girl is described as intelligent, strong, sexually driven, and possessive of a sharp mind, all attributes typically associated with men. She was “wrong” from the start, much like Robin was as a creature of the night, of otherness. The girl in the poem was “healthy,” yet she was seen as fat by her classmates, which is all too familiar in a society built on the judgement of a woman’s appearance. She was again reduced in a way that a man never would. Applying this to Robin, perhaps in the world she lived in, dressing as a man was Robin’s way of breaking through, of rebelling these societal expectations. While Robin took this approach of crossdressing, the girl in Barbie Doll is told that she should smile more and diet, methods of which involve the girl changing to society instead of society changing to accommodate her. Following these lines, the speaker begins a tonal shift with the lines “her good nature wore out / like a fan belt.” The audience begins to see a break here from the speaker’s infantile, Barbie-like descriptions; what could be more opposite from Barbie than a fan belt, a car piece that stereotypically, men would know about. Along those lines, an actual fan belt is designed to minimize friction with a car’s engine, much like women are supposed to be “coy” and “come on hearty,” as girl was advised to act. Fan belts also run tirelessly inside a car, which is comparable to how women are imagined as tireless machines, especially as mothers. Obviously, these standards are outlandish, which is perhaps why Piercy has the girl “cut off her nose and her legs,” to emphasize the absurdity.

Finally, in the last stanza, the girl dies, presumably because she cut off her legs. She lies on satin, possibly chosen because satin has a sensual, sexual connotation. She’s covered in makeup and a fake nose, how society truly wishes to see her. Even in her death, she is “dressed in a pink and white nightie,” continuing the sexualize infant like girl society fetishizes. She looks pretty to those around her, which is “consummation at last.” In a way, this makes Robin of Nightwood seem more inspiring because though she abandoned her responsibilities and those who loved her, she played by her own rules; she did not fall victim to ridiculous norms that society instills in women like the girl in the poem did. Overall, Robin lived for herself and only herself, a principle many could respect, especially women. “To every woman a happy ending” says the poem speaker ironically, but Robin had an actual happy ending because she was finally her true, pure self. Comparing her character with that of Piercy’s, it is clear that Barbie Doll masterfully combines the power of diction and metaphor to convey a scary yet truthful message about the standards women are held to, a message that unfortunately resonates with women 82 years after Nightwood was written and 47 years after Barbie Doll. Evidently, there is still work to do.

Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy, 1971

This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.


Barnes, Djuna. Nightwood. Faber & Faber, 2015.

Make America Great Again


Let America be America Again by Langston Hughes (1994)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—

Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home—

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came

To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?

Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed

And all the songs we’ve sung

And all the hopes we’ve held

And all the flags we’ve hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay—

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—

The land that never has been yet—

And yet must be—the land where every man is free.

The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,

We must take back our land again,


O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—

America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain—

All, all the stretch of these great green states—

And make America again!


This poem, though written 24 years ago, speaks volumes to the present.. The 45th president ran on a campaign that he would “make America great again;” how ironic is it that a white, straight, privileged man would take the same words written by a black man and use it to promote prejudice against “others?” Exploitation is nothing new, especially in America. As we’ve seen through the stories of brave black men and women, the white man has done so much to suppress the greatness that the black community possesses.

“Equality is the air we breathe,” writes Hughes, in a sarcastic tone, referring to the Declaration of Independence, which stated that “all men are created equal;” however, “all” only meant some for the founding fathers. Blacks did not have any rights, still sold as slaves for 97 years after America declared its independence from Britain. With Hughes describing equality as air, I can only imagine that only some are free to let the air go through their lungs without fear, whereas blacks had to hold theirs for hundreds of years, well after the Emancipation Proclamation, well after Jim Crow, and well after this poem was written.

Hughes later writes “torn from Black Africa’s strand I came / To build a ‘homeland of the free’,” which points out that the slaves of America built much of the greatness of this country. As the Afric-American Picture Gallery demonstrates, there is so much Black Excellence that is sewn into the fabric of America, often unnoticed. In picture No. 3 of the Gallery, the author points out “that the first bosom that was bared to the blast of war was black; the first blood that drenched the path-way which led up to American liberty, was from the veins of a colored man” (54). Without the death of Crispus Attucks, the land of the free would not have been possible.

“O, let America be America again— / The land that never has been yet—” says the speaker. Once again, Hughes reinforces that America cannot be great “again” because it never has been, not as long as minorities have been (and continue to be) disenfranchised. America cannot be America again as long as Haiti is allegedly referred to as a “shit-hole country” when few know who Touissant L’Overture is. This poem eloquently points out the ironies of American patriotism while simultaneously criticizing the dark past of the country as well. It is unfortunate that the poem was so relevant in the 1990s, but even more upsetting that it is almost verbatim to the rhetoric of today. There is much work to do, but visiting these narratives as lessons is important in becoming more inclusive and more educated in what it might be like to walk in someone else’s shoes, which would certainly make America great.

Make America Great Again

As if it were so great before


As if America ever truly recognized its