The black women also have the challenges of understanding or appreciating themselves of what they are and not what other people say about them. The poem gives the idea that the women are the oppressed in the society, not only physically but mentally. The poems show that black women are not developed as their white counterparts (Richard 16).“’Dark Phrases’ also speaks of the definitions put on Black women by their environment…. ‘Outside Detroit, Outside Houston,’ and my other locations that make up American society. The meaning behind this is not to state location, but to express a state of mind. This isolates a person not only physically, but also mentally.” (Richard 15)The poems are characterized by pains and sorrows, development and success the same way in Jazz literature that was based of suffering, struggle and success. For example, the “graduation nite” is about losing of virginity upon a black girl. It explores the youth to adulthood where one can make her own decisions. It also shows the change of events on the part of the black girl (Richard 16).In the same way that Jazz literature goes through the phases of oppression, being forced into submission and fighting to get an identity, Shange’s work does the same. The literature depicts the black woman’s struggle through distinct situations and later they arrive at ‘selfhood’ as they find God in themselves. Shanges’ work elaborates how patriarchal discourse made the black girls suffer and how they struggles to get their identity back. Later they end up being “black females who only need to be loved and appreciated” (Hammad 254)The. Jazz Literature.
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