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Telephone Conversation Summary & Analysis
by Wole Soyinka

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"Telephone Conversation" is a 1963 poem by the Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka that satires racism. The poem describes a phone call between a landlady and the speaker, who is black, about renting an apartment. The landlady is pleasant until she learns that the speaker is "African," at which point she demands to know how "light" or "dark" the speaker's skin is. In response, the speaker cleverly mocks the landlady’s ignorance and prejudice, demonstrating that characterizing people by their skin color diminishes their humanity.

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