Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Words for "Blacks" in "Parking Lot, Too", by Reginald Dwayne Betts

As the Blacks in Reginald Dwayne Betts's "Parking Lot, Too" are made into suspects in multiple ways, the language identifying their race keeps changing. Until line 13, the man leaving the parking lot is called "Black", but then he is identified once as "a Negro" – a perspective on him from a time before "Black Power", say. But the poem immediately shifts to a recent variation on the n-word that creates a more contemporary insider's perspective for most of the rest of the poem, until the direct use of the n-word shifts to the racist perspective of the policial and judicial world of "evidence" implied from the beginning by the word "confession". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 17 November)


[The poem is quoted in full at the end of my previous post on it, which is linked above.]

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