||Jan 1 2003
In the nineties there was an illusion that racism was slowly disappearing. People of different races were trying to support the “melting pot” experiment that created America. There was a new society being created out of unions between those of different ethnic groups. Interracial relationships were no longer taboo though there were several pockets of resistance. This is a poetic interpretation of the journey traveled by my wife and me. Each chapter deals with a different stage in our journey embodied in various pieces of poetry, prose and/or haiku.
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I Don’t Understand…an excerpt from "Under The Melting Pot"
I don’t understand, why can’t we be together?
We were meant for each other, to last forever.
Why does the color of my skin matter to you?
I imagine that you fell in love once in your life too.
Does it matter that my past is a mystery to me too?
Does it matter that you know your history but I rarely have a clue?
Did you see the painting I sent her, to show how I feel?
Does the way I express my self make me less real?
Why did you take the letters I sent her?
Why did you throw them away?
Is it so un-important, the words I had to say?
Why did you give her a curfew?
Why did you shut off her phone?
Did you honestly think that would make me leave her alone?
Why did you send spies, to spy on our dates?
Why do you try so hard to control our fates?
Did you think that when you left her, and went far away, that
She wouldn’t talk to me or see me everyday?
Why do you look at us with accusing eyes?
Why do you say the truth we speak, are just common lies?
You thought we would fail and the world would consume us,
And leave our love to waste away and turn into dust.
You didn’t know where she was and you wanted her home.
She wanted to be with you too, but not leave me alone.
You cried every night, but she cried all day.
It was a hard choice for her, but she chose to run away.
"I regress back to the memories of those times spent alone and tearful.
Wishing for the day that has now come and past
We are together and a family at last.
Forgive me and my demon, we have a lot to work out
Maybe you don’t understand the complexity of the issue we talk about.
I don’t hate you.
I just hate the way we were treated by you."
an excerpt taken from the poem "Now".
These words embody my emotional state after the initial stages of the struggle were over. Overall, many of the problems that we faced no longer exist, but I refuse to forget the past.
Review from the West Hartford Life Publication.
Editor Mark Jahne writes, "...what if the melting pot is more like a cauldron of boiling oil? What if all that diversity brings along with it negative stereotypes, racial intolerance and general misunderstanding?
Tyrone Vincent Banks knows all about that. It's why the Elmwood resident recently published his first book of poetry, "Under the Melting Pot." It is published by PublishAmerica, LLP of Baltimore, an on-line publishing service.
His book is deeply personal. It deals with the challenges he faced when he first met his future wife, Nydian, and quickly discovered that her family wanted nothing to do with him because they are Latino (from Colombia) and he is African-American."
Review from the Connecticut Journal publication
The Editor of the Connecticut Journal, Joan Hunt, recently interviewed Mr. Banks and his story is currently the lead for the July 11, 2003 issue. About "Under the Melting Pot" she writes; "He (Banks) has written a book of poetry about the experience called Under the Melting Pot, which is not only a testament to his patience and devotion, but also a great love story that will inspire others to follow his guide."
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Reader Reviews for "Under The Melting Pot"
|Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen
|This sounds like an excellent book, one I would definitely be interested in...
|Reviewed by Monica Russell
|I was able to pull his pain right from the contents of his emotionally charged words. I put myself in his shoes as he took me on a beautifully disturbing trip down memory lane, a lane most of us haven't had the displeasure of traveling.
I felt for him, and his love for her, as he breathes understanding into his readers with a powerful voice, which took me deep, and head-first into his personal struggles, while he mastered the balance of rejection, and prejudice.
|Reviewed by Joyce Scarbrough
|Under the Melting Pot is not only a poetry collection filled with beautifully melodic verse, it's an epic love story told in words so touching and emotional that it's as if the reader is watching the story unfold through the tearful eyes of one of the lovers. We feel the author's pain, joy, anger, and elation as he fights for the most important thing in his life--the woman he loves and his right to be with her. Even as we rage with him over the injustice he must suffer in his quest, he shows us the true measure of the man he is by making us feel for those who treat him so cruelly.
I began reading the first few poems and became so drawn into the life of the author that I was terrified the book would end without my knowing how his journey ended, but I should have known that anyone who writes with as much feeling as Tyrone Vincent Banks would never do that to his readers. I read the entire book in one sitting and was sad when I came to the end, but only because it felt as if I was having to say goodbye to new friends I'd come to know and love. I can't wait to read the next installment in this story of a love so strong that no amount of prejudice could defeat it.