The poem We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks is a very short poem, however, the message of the poem is very sharp and effective. In just a few lines Brooks is able to draw a very bleak picture of African American youth and how they ruin their lives.  The picture that emerges from the poem is symbolic of the African Americans and how their lives are misspent and ruined through wrong decisions.

The subtitle —The Pool Players. Seven at the Green Shovel —shows that the poem is specifically about the seven pool players, but generally, it symbolizes and depicts the youth of a large number of African American men. The first line is about the way the youth really act trying to be what they usually are not and instead of working hard and immersing themselves in work and studies the seven pool players believe that they were quite hip and trendy, and the act of dropping out and leaving school is not an act of some problem or deficiency but an act of defiance and being fashionable. They believe that they would gain a lot more then they could if they stayed in school; therefore it is a choice, not a necessity which makes them decide to leave school.

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