East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)
In Teri Ellen Cross Davis’ poem “East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl),” the speaker describes how she feels after having her hair braided by her mother.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after students have read up to the end of “First Quarter.” Early in the chapter, Josh is very upset when JB accidentally cuts off several of his locks of hair. Have students read “East 149th Street” and compare the speaker’s feelings about her hair to Josh’s feelings about his. Why is hair important to them? What is the symbolism of JB cutting Josh’s hair?