The poem is written in the form of a challenge to someone who harbors discriminatory attitudes. When someone uses the word 'half-caste,' Agard continually tells them to 'explain yuself' and asks them 'what yu mean.' The tone is aggressive and belligerent. He is questioning their intelligence and their morals.
Agard's attitude toward people who discriminate against others because of their race or ethnicity is one of condemnation. This is made clear by lines such as "Oh, shame on those who practice racism!," "I pray that God will have mercy on their souls," and "May God turn his face away from this nation." At the end of the poem, he asks God to judge those who practice racism by burning them alive inside of their stomachs for all eternity.
Half-caste means 'of mixed blood' and is used here to describe anyone who is not pure-blooded Indian. Because Indians were considered superior to whites in 19th century America, having half Indian ancestry made you less than perfect in the eyes of many people. The term 'half-caste' was used as a way to insult them by saying that they were not fully committed to being American.
Racism is another issue that is condemned throughout the poem.
In a straightforward tone, the poet expresses some harsh societal inequality. They have been virtuous throughout their lives and have followed the so-called white discipline and morals, but they are now in terrible condition, with just beans to eat. This makes the society think that they are worthless.
Gwendolyn Brooks' simple style keeps the tone clear while expressing her views on racism and injustice. The poem is all about how poor people can lose everything they own yet still be considered worthy of life.
Brooks uses language that would not be out of place in a newspaper article or speech. She writes about "white discipline" and "morals," which shows that she is aware that many people did not understand the meaning of these terms when they read this poem. By using such words, Brooks can get her message across to those who may not otherwise read beyond the first line or two.
Also using simple language, Brooks tries to persuade readers that even though poor people can lose everything, they are still worth saving. She does this by mentioning other things that were lost, such as homes and freedom. Even though these people had their hopes ruined by being forced into slavery after death, others later found them useful and preserved their memories. This shows that even if poor people do go through terrible times, they will always be needed by others.
The speaker's inner struggle as a result of his mixed background is the poem's major topic. He doesn't know where he belongs, and he is angry with his parents, but he finally forgives them. It represents the internal agony that racism produces.
This poem is about identity crisis and self-hate. The boy in this poem does not feel welcome anywhere, especially in his own town. His father is black and his mother is white. This creates a problem for him because he does not know who he really is. Even though he has friends of all colors, they still see him as one of them and not as an individual. This makes him feel like an outsider everywhere he goes.
At first, the boy hates both of his parents for putting him through such a thing. However, he eventually realizes that they are just people like him or her who have been taught to hate others based on the color of their skin. Once he understands this, he is able to forgive them for what they have gone through.
In the end, the boy decides to move to Chicago because there are more blacks than whites there. This shows how difficult it was for him to find acceptance somewhere. Although he finds some friends there, they too can be seen only as one of two things: black or white. This makes him feel even more alone than before.