Being The Voice For Others

As I am researching the author, Maxine Hong Kingston, for my Ethnic American project, I am discovering that she is a women warrior herself and I can see how she will be an amazing person to connect to my project. One of the things that surprised me was that she started writing at a very young age and even won a five-dollar prize from “Girl Scout Magazine” for an essay she wrote titled “I Am an American.” The title just says it all because she was way ahead of her time, which is usually the people who are very influential in the future. She was someone who always used her voice and was not at afraid at all to express her thoughts. For instance, when she was a graduate student at Berkeley, she was active in the Free Speech movement of 1964 and was arrested on International Women’s Day because she refused to leave the streets after being told to by the police during the anti-war protest in Washington D.C. Another fact that surprised me was that Walt Whitman was one of her influences to write and shaped her work. One of the other facts I learned about Kingston, was that she loved anyone who wrote or acted freely because that’s what she wanted. She wanted to tell others her story through real evidence/experiences of war and myths from folk stories; but, to really show what a true women warrior was and she was it. She also wrote short stories and poetry as well, which interests me because I love writing poetry. I started thinking about a theme that would shape my project and the way my class make sense of “American-ness” and it is that Kingston was the voice for others who were too scared or couldn’t speak at all. She was ahead of her time and critics realized that. One of my concerns is that, would I have to read a different work of hers plus the one I am presenting as well?

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