Today, 11th graders took their Chapter 5 test. Part 2 of the test consisted of an opinionated, educated essay based off the slam poem An Indian Education written and performed by then 11th grader April Chavez. Students were asked to explain what the overall message of the poem was, how it related to our content, and lastly how it made them feel. How would you have done? If you’re feeling funky, go ahead and write your own opinionated, educated essay after watching! :o) Enjoy!
For more information about Brave New Voices, click the link to the right!
Notable opinionated educated essay responses:
“I think that Chavez feels the Indians were robbed of their culture. I think what she means by “Kill the Indian, save the man!” is that the Americans wanted to eradicate the Indian culture, but to make it look like they were trying to save the Indians, they sent them to schools. That way, they could eliminate the Indian culture without actually killing the people. I believe the poem is a confrontation of Americanization, because she displays strong emotion against what the Americans did to the Indians.”
” I think she feels this way because she realized that her people were assimilated and were forced to attend Indian Boarding Schools that really didn’t educate the Native Americans. She resented the fact that her people were considered low-lives or people who didn’t belong, people who were thought to destroy the upcoming America. When in reality they were there first, they were innocent people being forced by “sophisticated terrorists” to become Americanized. I think the purpose of the poem is to open up people’s eyes to the mistreatment of her ancestors. Also, I think the poem was a confrontation of Americanization, why? Because it was cruel and unfair to force the Indian people to change their way of life and April explained it very well.”
“I think she is angry that the Indian culture has to put up with hatred. I think the “man” she is talking about is the Indians without their culture. For example, I have Mexican and Puerto Rican roots so if I were to “kill” the Latina in me I would just be an American woman leaving my culture behind me. The overall message of her poem in my opinion is that she is trying to tell people that she is proud of being and Indian and that because they have to put up with fear, hatred, and sadness that only motivates her even more. Her poem was a confrontation of Americanization because she doesn’t like the fact that some Indians today are still afraid to express themselves in their Native ways, afraid to speak their own language.”