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This book basically revolves around the life of young girl, Shivana Golding aged 15. Shivana believes that it is the order of the day for most black women to raise their children as single parents just like her mother. It s not until her charismatic aunt visits, that she stops viewing life being harsh to her. She accidentally becomes pregnant by an older man who is married and thus she is left in a dilemma on what to do with her pregnancy. She thinks of having an abortion but apparently the child inside her intends to be born of her no matter what. Her main aim is to break the poverty cycle and the unending poor behavior of men leaving pregnant women to cater for the needs of the children. The book describes that the child had been in other women’s wombs several times only to be unfortunate to a point of being aborted countless times. Shivana apparently falls love later with Rasul, a young teenage boy who is experiencing hardships in life. They unite and make up their minds to fight as one in their challenging lives to ensure that they achieve a good promising future.
One of the issues discussed in these chapters is the mentality that Shivana carries of herself. She is definitely convinced that she is born to suffer just like the other women in her community. She aims at putting a stop to such predicament and designing a better future for black women who are forced by circumstances to raise their chidren as single parents. She is more than determined to make her future and that of other black women better and if not perfect. This turns out to be very challenging to her, bearing in mind that she is only 15, uneducated and worse of all pregnant of a married man. Shivana needs determination more than anything in her life and encouragement. Rasul makes her have the two, and above that gives her love and company in whatever she attempts to achieve.
The theme of education is clearly shown, particularly where the fetus narrates of its hopeful future of acquiring good education. It admires getting the best education just like the other children. The disadvantage arises in the sense that the woman who is to be her mother is uneducated. When Rasul address Shivana, she does not understand most of his conversations with her basically due tot the fact that she is not educated. However, in most of her speech, Shivana speaks with the vocabulary of an educated individual. This raises eyebrows concerning her level of education although it is evident that she is not that intelligent with regards to the wrong decisions that she makes most of the time. More often than not, Shivana makes wrong decisions that eventually lead to more problems instead of solving the one at hand. Education is thus displayed as a very vital tool in the survival of and more in particular in the fight against discrimination of women due to male chauvinism.
Another theme that crops up is the discussed chapters theme of change. The voice of the unborn baby speaks of its ambition to change the life of people and the community at large. It is in the best interest of the fetus to be like a flower seed and thus grow and blossom to change the environment. It desires to influence in the rebirth of the community where children will be fed well, and loved magnificently. Shivana also aims to be the instrument of change in her community. She desires to change the manner in which men treat women and their bad vice of leaving women to cater for their children alone. If individuals embrace change willingly, the environment would be a better place to live in and will favor the oppressed women in the African American set up.
A black child is lowly valued by most persons in their respective communities. There is great need for a change in perception of the value of a black child. The community’s mentality needs to be stirred up in order to view a child in the right manner and in the best way possible. A child no matter its age should be respected and thus should be given a right to life. The life should also not be given plainly but should be made conducive enough for the child to be able to be at per with children from other communities. If such issues are well catered for, the society will be a better place to live in, full of love, care, and responsible individuals.