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Most of the naysayers here don’t understand what it is like to be oppressed based on race and that include verbal and non-verbal cues people pick up in school, the media, and other institutions. Late poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar wroteapoem called “We Wear the Mask”: WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask. We smile, but,Ogreat Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask! This poem presents in terms of passionate personal regret the psychological analysis of the fact of blackness in Frantz Fanon’s “Peau Noire, Masques Blancs,” withapenetrating insight into the reality of the black man’s plight in America. It also supports the premise of the author that being “vain” or perceived as such isapolitical statement. In this sense vain equals “uppity” and signifies foraracist society that the black person has forgotten his place in the world-a place assigned byaracist system.
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