Biracial immigrants from the Cape Verde islands to the United States have faced racial discrimination and cultural denigration for generations. Vasco Pires published a collection of poems in 2003 to help fellow Cape Verdean-Americans seeking self-respect and civil rights by encouraging them to identify as Black. Despite being the proud grandson of immigrants, Pires's connection to the islands was secondhand and his ethnic identity was diminished by the assertive racial problems he and his community experienced. Soon after his first book, however, Pires visited his ancestral homeland four times in three years. The result was a cultural reawakening and a second book in 2010 that reversed the position he took in the first book. Highlighting the culture and language of the islands, the second book urged Cape Verdean-Americans to reconnect with their ethnic heritage. This article compares the poems, translations, and illustrations in the two books, analyzing Pires's newfound self-awareness and his more extensive use of Cape Verdean languages (Portuguese and Kriolu) as he challenges all Americans to become culturally bilingual.

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