The Firstborn, a poem by Aboriginal author Jack Davis, allows the reader to identify the poem as a visual protest against the extinction and prejudice of Australia's Indigenous people, as well as the loss of their identity, as their world collides with Western society.
In an interview with The Conversation, Davis said he wrote The Firstborn because he was angry about what was happening to Australia's indigenous people.
He also mentioned that he wanted to "give voice" to those who had no voice and "to tell them how great they are".
Here is the full text of The Firstborn:
Once upon a time there were three brothers. They were happy living in their own country, but then one day their mother was killed by white men. From then on, the brothers knew they had to go live with other Indians.
The oldest brother called himself "Black", the middle brother became "White", but the youngest one kept his name "Firstborn".
Now the two brothers had to learn about life in the big white man's school. They met some nice teachers who taught them how to read and write. Then they were sent back home to live with their new Indian friends.
Soon after they arrived, the two brothers realized that some of the Indian people wanted to eat them!
The Fosters' songs were the first to have a distinctly American theme, depicting love of home, the American temperament, river life and labor, politics, battles, slavery, and plantation life. As a self-taught musician, he wrote his poetry and melodies in a straightforward style with no musical ornamentation or intricacy. His songs are among the first to use the twelve-bar blues format.
Stephen Foster was born on March 16th, 1796 in Augusta, Georgia. His parents were poor but loving farmers who had many children. When Stephen was nine years old, his family moved to South Carolina so that his father could take charge of a large plantation. Here they lived in a cabin without electricity or running water. Despite this, Stephen's parents saw to it that he received some formal education. They sent him to a private school in Charleston where he learned to read and write music. After graduating from high school, Stephen decided to travel across America looking for work as a singer-songwriter. He arrived in New York City around 1820 and soon found employment as an organist and choir conductor at several churches. His talent as a musician was noticed by people who asked him to write songs for them, and this business brought him enough money to survive on. Over the next few years, Stephen Foster wrote hundreds of songs, most of which were performed by black musicians. His favorite instrument was the guitar.
In 1831, Stephen married Aurelia Hoffman.
Wright composed Black Boy in reaction to his childhood experiences. Richard Wright's family spent much of their life in abject poverty, suffering from hunger and disease as they moved across the country in pursuit of a better life. Wright credits his biggest inspirations on his work to his family and early milieu. He said that without their support none of this would have been possible.
Wright wanted to become a writer since he was a child, when he read many American authors such as Mark Twain and William Faulkner. He said that when he grew up he wanted to be like them. However, it took him many years to realize this goal. During World War II, he realized that being a writer was what he really wanted to do. So he sent out several manuscripts which were mostly rejected. But one particular incident changed his mind about writing: A publisher asked him to rewrite part of Black Boy from the point of view of a black man so that it could be used as a submission piece for magazine reviews. This is how he decided to quit his job as an electrician and start earning money by writing articles and books.
Wright also wrote about other issues including racism and its effects on black people. This is why some people say that Black Boy is one of the most important documents of 20th century African-American literature.
Richard Wright died at the age of 52 in 1958.
Wheatley composed a literary homage to the missionary George Whitefield in 1770. Her poems dealt with Christian themes, and many of them were addressed to notable people. Elegies make up more than one-third of the collection, with the balance focusing on religious, classical, and abstract subjects.
"To His Excellency General Washington," a poem by Phillis Wheatley, is as distinctive as the author herself. The poem was written to George Washington, the newly appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of North America, in October 1775, far before the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Phillis Wheatley's poem was published on October 26, 1775. I'm referring to Columbia's scenes of magnificent toil. While freedom sends her eager breasts into a frenzy, she flashes dreadfully in refulgent arms. See the destiny of Mother Earth's progeny bemoaned, and nations look upon hitherto unseen scenes!
"To His Excellency General Washington" is a 1775 poem written by Phyllis Wheatley, the first published female African-American poet. It was delivered to George Washington shortly after he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of North America.
Wheatley wrote the poem in the hope that Washington would apply the ideas of equality and liberty established by the Revolution to enslaved people. The letter has been called "the first petition to Congress" because it asked for freedom for all Americans.
Wheatley was born on May 11, 1743 in Boston's West Indian Island (now known as Dorchester). Her father was a white Englishman who worked as a customs official; her mother was African American. When Wheatley was six years old, her family moved to New York City where her father worked again for the government. Here she was educated by private teachers and learned to read and write Latin and English. She also learned to play several instruments including the harpsichord, the violin, and the guitar.
When Wheatley was eighteen years old, her father died. Now alone with no means of support, she was forced to leave school and work at a tavern to help pay for the expenses of living. Through hard work she was able to save some money which she used to buy a ticket for England. There she met members of the British aristocracy who encouraged her writing skills by asking her to compose poems for them. One of these poets was William Cowper who became Wheatley's mentor.