Although I cannot claim that this course has “awakened” me to different cultural perspectives, I can attest to how much I thoroughly enjoyed the texts we were required to analyze. Initially, I elected to enroll in Black Women Writers for the professor as well as the opportunity to read novels and poetry of authors I have never been exposed to before. Maybe I’m not easily shocked, but the harshness that sprung from The Bluest Eye, Push, and The Color Purple did not inspire me to be more socially engaged with members of different races, or to combat racism wherever it appears. This is no knock to the qualities of the novels (coincidentally, I enjoyed those three in particular) but a recognition that I am already aware enough about critical race theory and feminism to remain open-minded to absolutely any viewpoint as long as it is articulated clearly and reinforced by evidence.
What I can appreciate, however, are the real effects of fiction on a particular audience. One of my favorite aspects of a work of the imagination is its therapeutic potentialities. Throughout class we like to incorporate the term “a laying on of hands” to describe the sensation of group healing through the relation of non-fictional world problems to a work of clever genius. This employs the power of touch, illustrating the tangibleness of a well-written character to the readers in need of a fictional foil. Although I did not feel a particular connection to any character this semester, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading their stories. I love analyzing, and this course was a gold mine for that. I enjoyed listening intently to our heated discussions which almost always culminated in a rousing laugh, because y’all are good people. It’s been fun. Take care.
Cue slow-motion hugging and year-book-signing montage on the mall: