Atlas of Consciousness by Kameisha Jerae
Besides challenging the readers of Atlas of Consciousness to think about their social statuses and how they came to conclude the perspectives of their perceptions, the book holds true to its title and acts as a map of the mental content that Hodge experiences; starting off with a quote from the hit animated series the Boondocks, the poetry discusses the use of racial slurs in minority communities, the conflict of gaining worldly knowledge and its impact on her religious views, domestic violence, self-esteem, and the tragedies of “predictable” futures for African American youth… just to name a few topics.
“I wrote this in hopes that adults realize that young people are very conscious of the social, religious, and political themes that present themselves to us via the media and educational systems,” Hodge says. “I wrote this in hopes that young people realize that they have value in a society that tells them otherwise. I wrote this especially to voice my opinions in a way that will hopefully spark dialogue, whether people like it or not. Our society’s afraid to speak out against anything. I’m not. I have a lot to say.”