Memories of Coates in Baca’s Memoir ‘A Place to Stand’
One of Baca’s memories that truly showed how he felt about writing and how that it started his relationship to writing was his first time writing a word on his first page. “But when at last I wrote my first words on the page, I felt an island rising beneath my feet like the back of a whale. As more and more words emerged, I could finally rest: I had a place to stand for the first time in my life. The island grew, with each page, into a continent inhabited by people I knew and mapped with the life I lived”(Coming into Language by Jimmy Santiago Baca). Twenty years old and behind bars again due to a drug charge. Baca explains how he started to read every chance he gets because it was the only thing that would calm him down/help him with his nerves. One day “with a stub pencil I whittled sharp with my teeth, I propped a Red Chief notebook on my knees and wrote my first words”(Coming into Language by Jimmy Santiago Baca). And he started to become sucked into the writing world. He felt at relief as he wrote more about his life. His first time writing ever was a positive beginning to him into his relationship in writing. For Coates writing was the gateway for him to explore and learn. His writing relationship was a great positive for him because one example is first white people relationship was his editors because they helped him as he began publishing. Writing in journalism opened him to new people their life stories.
He saw how black bodies danced freely in clubs even though they could be beaten in the streets. He wanted to write like they danced. Coates shows that journalism showed/ made him realize things that he has never even noticed till now. Through his studies began to reveal that many people were oppressed and could be considered part of this category of “black,” which might just mean the lowest of the low. These realizations were hard. He came to see there was no honor in oppression or being bound or even in black blood itself. Both authors experienced something different when writing, at different places, times and places. But what writing has done to them his in same category. Writing showed them opportunities that would be life changing for each them. In both negative experiences but positive outcomes. For Baca writing is way to relieve yourself and go someway where you are at peace and enjoy it the most. However for Coates it was a tool that led him to explore and learn new things in life that you haven’t noticed. Both different opinions on writing but positive outcomes at the end. For me writing has always been hard as relaxation or to learn new things. The way writing for me is like a challenge. Every word I write has to have a reason on why it’s there. To write a great essay or letter or even a story you need to challenge yourself on things you know you aren’t that good at. Whether it is ideas, or plot lines, or even grammar. In my past challenging myself on writing was a goal of mine to become better at, so I can say that I am very well known to this type of thing.
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