Gwendolyn Brooks On June 7, 1917, Keziah Corine Wims and David Anderson Brooks gave birth to one of the most gifted African-American poets of the 20th century. They named her Gwendolyn Brooks. Although she was born in Topeka, Kansas, Brooks grew up in Chicago where her mother worked as a schoolteacher and her father worked as a janitor. He quit going to school for financial reasons and while quitting went away his dream of becoming a doctor. David Brooks was still a proud man. Being a janitor wasnt, and still isnt considered a highly skilled job, but Brooks was still proud of her fathers self-sacrifice. Brooks wrote a poem directly titled In Honor of David Anderson Brooks, My Father. In this poem she writes of how much she misses him and the things he did for his family. Lines such as A dryness is upon the house/ My father loved and tended/ Beyond his firm and sculptured door/ His light and lease have ended show how much she cared for her father. Growing up in the south side of Chicago gave Brooks an insight to the social poverty that existed in this world. The people around her may have been poor, but they still had pride in their existence. The poem The Bean Eaters is a reflection of her surroundings. The first two stanzas open the poem with: They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair/ Dinner is a casual affair/ Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood/ Tin flatware/ Two who are Mostly Good/ Two who have lived their day/ But keep putting on their clothes/ And putting things away. Although they dont have much other than tin flatware, the couple still faces each day as if it is a brand new beginning. As she was growing up, members of her own race spurned her because she lacked social and athletic abilities, and to add to these factors, she was also light skinned. This rejection effected her deeply and she retreated with poetry. In the poem, Still Do I Keep My Look, My Identity…
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