Some would argue that these themes are present across the large body of African American literature. [...]many have made comparisons between the cultural impact of African American poetry and memoir writing used as ethnographic writing. In doing so, they educate readers about Blackness and the violence-associated racism. Because the these collections are employing forms and approaches that combine language and visual awareness, I will pay special attention to how Rankine and Betts incorporate visual awareness into their work and comment on what readers stand to gain in this coupling. Rankine's poems explore the psychology of racism, ways that it is gender specific, particularly micro-aggressions and their various expressions in American culture. Because Rankine's form and approach includes studying Black identity from perspectives that are layered with documentary observations and visual stimuli, readers may develop complex levels of understanding about race in the American imagination. In this way, Betts satirizes the glorification of US colonial independence. [...]this passage prepares readers to recognize how racial equality and economic stability are inherently linked in American culture and expressed in American racism.
Hill, D. B. (2017). Mirrors and Windows: Black Poetry in this Era. American Studies, 56(1), 207–219. https://doi.org/10.1353/ams.2017.0009