The poems by Willie Perdomo and Diana Burns discuss the dilemma of claiming one’s race or ethnicity without being subjugated to the prescribed stereotypical views of society. In Perdomo’s poem he is addressing the issue of being bombarded with some type of racial classification. He has to black because that is what his skin reflects, and society treats him accordingly. I feel in society you are always racially labeled and you have to claim a racial identity, you cannot just be racially ambiguous. In this perspective Pedermo is forced by society to take on the identity even when he is not black. This is just an example how society judges a person off of what is most easily identifiable. The part of the poem that puts everything in perspective is this: “… I ain’t even Black and here I am sufferin’ from the young Black man’s plight/ the old white man’s burden/ and I ain’t even Black….” Pg.113 He is forced to take on the identity and be punished by society. In either case being a minority is a plight and since his skin isn’t white he has to suffer. In Burns’ poem she discusses the issue of having to explain ones identity. She has to consistently defend her ethnicity and battle the many attached stereotypes. I can relate to these poets. A person cannot just be a person but has to be an ethnicity/race. Society pressures you to claim an identity , but anything that isn’t white isn’t right, and under scrutiny by society’s aesthetic and expectations .