Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

Kitchenette Building (title)

This is the most blatant example of prejudice in the poem. The kitchenettes were perfect examples of sub-standard living controlled by slumlords, reserved specifically for African-Americans. That Brooks chooses to title the poem "Kitchenette Building" means she probably wants the idea of prejudice at the forefront of readers' minds.

Quote #2

Like "rent," "feeding a wife" (3)

People who lived in kitchenettes were at the mercy of their landlords. If the landlord wanted to jack up the rent, they'd have to deal with it somehow, even if that meant skipping a few meals.

Quote #3

And yesterday's garbage ripening in the hall, (6)

The conditions in the kitchenettes—because there were so many people and so few sanitary services provided (like proper places to dispose of garbage)—were often pretty nasty, thanks to the landlords.

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