The Song of the Smoke Essay

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Smith is a writer and editor. In this essay, she discusses how W. E. B. DuBois's "The Song of the Smoke" is poised within a critical moment in African- American history, reflecting the painful legacy of slavery in North America yet looking with hope toward the future.

W. E. B. Du Bois's poem "The Song of the Smoke" is a powerful statement on what it means to be an African American. Written in the early years of the twentieth century, it looks both back to the past, finding strength and sorrow in the legacy of the slave, and toward the future, hoping to find a new strength and dignity that all African Americans can unite behind.

The poem follows a song structure, including the repetition of a refrain ("I am the Smoke King / I am black"). On the one hand, this looks backward into the English folk poetry...

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This section contains 1,653 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Song of the Smoke Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Song of the Smoke from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.