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Allison Adelle Hedge Coke | 'America, I Sing You Back'

December 2, 2021 | 0 comments

'America, I Sing You Back': A poem for the holiday

Ask Students: Who wrote this poem and why did she do so, according to the linked article? What are some of the ways Coke critiques the American experience?

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Summary

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke considers her poem “America, I Sing You Back” to be an extension of two famous poems about the identity of America: Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” and Langston Hughes’ “I, Too”. Written as a response to those poems, Coke’s poem considers America from the perspective of a woman and indigenous person.

Listen to the poem in the link below and read along on the NewsHour site here.

 

 

Discussion Questions

  • Who wrote this poem and why did she do so, according to the linked article?
  • What are some of the ways Coke celebrates the American experience or characterizes what it means to be American?
  • What are some of the ways Coke critiques the American experience?
  • What are some of the words and images that suggest the subjective perspective of a woman and indigenous person in the poem?
  • How does Coke characterize the past, present and future of the American experience in this poem?

Focus Questions

Why do you think Coke wrote this poem, and what do you think she was trying to say about the relationship between the indigenous people of the Americas and the United States?

Media Literacy

What would you like more information about to better understand Coke’s meaning and intentions?

Additional Resources

 

 

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.