Racism is the central subject of "Telephone Conversation." In the poem, a black guy attempts to finalize a housing agreement over the phone with a landlady. He wants to tell the landlady he's black, and a crazy debate develops over how dark his complexion is. Finally, the man tells her he's really very light brown, which seems to satisfy both of them.
This little scene takes place in 1938, when "nigger" was still used as an offensive term. So obviously this landlady isn't going to let some black guy into her house just because he says he's not that dark. Even though he tells her he's light brown, she still thinks he's black and won't rent him the room.
This kind of racism still exists today in certain parts of the country. If you're black, you probably know all too well what it's like to deal with people who think there's something wrong with you just because of your skin color. As bad as this incident in "Telephone Conversation" is, it's nothing compared to what blacks have to put up with every day.
The main lesson here is that racism is terrible, no matter what color you are. Whether it's white people refusing to rent apartments to black people or black people being treated badly by police officers, everyone needs to fight racism in its many forms.
The contemporary telephone is the product of many people's efforts. Alexander Graham Bell, on the other hand, was the first to patent the telephone as a "telegraphic apparatus for transferring voice or other sounds."
Racism is the central subject of "Telephone Conversation." In the poem, a black guy attempts to finalize a housing agreement over the phone with a landlady. He wants to tell the landlady he's black, and a crazy debate develops over how dark his complexion is.
These lines from the poem "Telephone Conversation" reveal how the many colors of black men's skin are discussed. While the black man claims that he is not entirely black, the landlady readily refers to him as brunet. This demonstrates how desperate the black man is to find a place to rent. He tries to make himself appear more attractive by mentioning his blond hair and blue eyes. However, these things only make him look more like a white man and thus less desirable.
In addition, the fact that the landlady asks if he is African American reveals how inappropriate this question is. Black Americans are not one homogeneous group, but rather they are made up of people with various degrees of blackness. There are very dark blacks, light-skinned blacks, and even mulattos. Because of this diversity, it is incorrect to say that all black people have black skin or are allowed to claim certain shades on their skin. For example, an African American woman might have brown skin and black hair. She would be considered black because that is what this poem is about; race relations in modern-day America.
Furthermore, the fact that the landlady asks if he is "nigra" shows that at one time, this word was used to describe black Americans. It is important to understand that the word has other meanings beyond color.
"Telephone Conversation" is a racist satire written by Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka in 1963. The poem is about a phone call about renting an apartment between a landlady and the speaker, who is black. It was first published in a magazine called Our Corner in London.
Soyinka wrote this poem after being asked to leave his room at the Cambridge Hotel in Lagos because it had been reserved for someone of higher status. He decided to satirize racism by writing a poem about it instead.
This poem uses language that was popular in England in the early 1960s to describe a phone call between a black man and a white woman. One example is "Mister, me no be white lady," which means "Sir, I am not a white female."
Here is how the poem starts:
The telephone rang late one night,
And a voice I did not know replied, "Hello?"
Then a girl's voice said, "Is that the Cambridge Hotel?"
I said, "Yes." She went on, "Are you Mr. Soyinka?"
Then she asked, "Can we rent a room?"