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The Postwar United States
Arts and Entertainment, 1945-1968
We Real Cool

Gwendolyn Brooks was one of the African-American authors who rose to prominence after World War II. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1949. Many websites feature her works, including her poem "We Real Cool," published in the 1950s. In 1966, the Broadside Press of Detroit published the poem on a poster, or broadside. It appears in American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides. What is Brooks saying in this poem? Why do you think she ends the first seven lines with the word we? Why might the Broadside Press have chosen to put this poem on a poster? Does this poem have any relevance today?

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"We real cool", 1966


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