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Half-Caste Summary & Analysis
by John Agard

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"Half-Caste" is a 2005 poem written by John Agard. Agard was born in Guyana (at the time British Guyana) in 1949 and moved to England in 1977. Contextualized in England, the poem explores the use of the word "half-caste," a derogatory term referring to people of mixed race. This is done through an unidentified speaker who, in response to being deemed "half-caste," provides a very tongue-in-cheek exploration of what this descriptor actually means. In doing so, the poem subverts racist thinking that would distill human identity into a simple matter of black and white. The poem is also notably written using a mixture of standard English and Caribbean Creole, and its form thus reflects the multifaceted identity of the poet himself.

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