White Lies Essay

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White Lies by Natasha Trethewey The poem “White Lies” is talking about the racial integration that people use to have in the older days. People would think that being white is better than being black. In 1966 Natasha Terthewey was born is Mississippi. During this time interracial marriage was very frowned upon. Getting made fun of for being African American led for her to write the poem “White Lies”. It is very clear that not only was this a poem she wrote, but it had a lot of personal meaning to it also. The first stanza she is comparing many different colors. I feel that she is describing some of the lies that she has made in the poem. I also feel that she is describing herself as so light that she could be white. It is about an African American girl that is embarrassed about her racial background so she makes up lies to impress all of the white people. In the second stanza she is describing all of her little white lies. She says “I could easily tell the white folks/ that we lived uptown/ not in that pink and green/ shanty-fied shotgun section/ along the tracks.” (8,9,10) She is meaning that she could easily tell all of the white people that she lives in a nice neighborhood, and not in the beat up shack down the road. Another lie that she tells is where all of her clothes are coming from. She states “I could act/ like my homemade dresses/came straight out the window/ of Maison Blanche.” (12,13,14,15) She likes to like to all of the white people and say she shops at all of the nice and expensive clothing stores, when really all of her dresses are homemade. I think that she would lie about who she really was because it was hard being African American in times like those. At the end of the second stanze she states “I could even/ keep quiet, quiet as kept/ like the time a white girl said/(squeezing my hand), Now/ we have three of us in this class.”(15-18) I

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