In a nation built on trust, the constant misjudging of stereotypes is one of the leading causes of racism. The meaning of stereotype is a generalization of a group of people, which is commonly associated with race and how they are viewed. Cornelius Eady, an African American poet, who has lived all his life dealing with the prejudice of being a “black man” in New York, has developed a writing presence in the literary world as a writer of black mistreatment. .
In Eady’s “Who Am I” he writes about the court case South Carolina vs. Susan Smith, describing the story through the eyes of an imaginary black man, figment by Smith. Susan Smith decided to tell the world that a black man kidnapped her and her children, she escaped and he drowned her two children. The world was in shock searching the states for a positively fit description a black man.
The beginning of the poem starts with one of the boys asking the driver “who are you,” as in a state of confusion. The boys are in the back seat of a car being driven by someone they do not know, yet there is neither screaming nor wanting to escape. The poem is a flash back being told by the driver of the situation as to how he felt about what was going on. He says that the boys see some sort of familiarity in his ability to drive, concern looking, or the blessing that was bestowed on the three of them; creating him, and wanting to kill them. Then Eady removes the face of the driver, and causes doubt by writing, “childish, in plain sight, seen, but not seen, as if suddenly given the power to move through walls,” lead to think that he is not real and just an image of a “brutal imagination,” of Smith.
Smith trying to cover up for what she has done and unable to face the punishment, she falls back on the nation’s ability to be swayed by color. Race is a topic that stirs up many issues that has not been an agreeable subject for all.