What do readers learn from Gary Soto's "Black Hair?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Gary Soto's "Black Hair" tells of a Hispanic male looking back over his life. At eight, the speaker idolized Hector (a Hispanic baseball player). The speaker believed Hector to be a god (per the "alter" of baseball cards.

In the next stanza, the speaker tells his audience what brought him "here." Not only did the speaker need to fell accepted by those like him, his father was dead and his mother abusive. He really had nothing to stay for.

In the final stanza, the speaker returns to the image of baseball and Hector. Mirroring Hector's actions, the speaker feels as though his actions (like Hector's) insure his acceptance by other "brown people."

Therefore, readers learn that one can find acceptance in others when he or she mirrors the actions and behaviors of others who the society holds up. Readers also learn that even with bad beginnings, one can find success.

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