Black Women Writers @ Southwestern University

An English / Feminist Studies / Race & Ethnicity Studies Course Blog

A Few Miscellaneous Thoughts

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  • Similar to another blog post for this week, I am falling in love with the women poets and activists that we are reading for class. The two in particular who have captured my imagination are Angela Davis and June Jordan. Angela has a particular way of speaking that makes me love listening to her. Its very lyrical and poetic the way she emphasizes and spaces her words. Added to the value and importance of what she is saying and why she is saying it, and she becomes an entrancing speaker. June Jordan is similarly fascinating to listen to, be in a different way. Her manner of speaking isn’t the poetic language that Davis uses, but she’s friendly and nice, someone you want to listen to and would have been easy to talk to as well. In a word, I’d say she’s cute. Which is what makes her poetry and message have a much greater impact. You aren’t expecting it, so when it comes it hits closer to home. Its her manner of speaking that I’ve been talking about when I say we need to infiltrate the Majority. Pull them in by being accessible and friendly, with a different conversation and then bring it about to the important matters at hand. Then you can either keep their face in the issue, which she does in “A Poem About My Rights” or, if they aren’t feeling it, steer the conversation back to safer waters for a bit, then move it back into the issues, progressively acclimating them to this issue.
    • One thing that I’m finding odd is that I want to commemorate them, or help to remember them by possibly naming my daughters after them. Its just weird because that’s sort of the opposite of what they are saying; they’re advocating for Black women to have more power and more opportunities, yet motherhood is my immediate line of thought and the manner in which I think of commemorating them. Just ironic is all.
  • I’m not sure whether or not this observation is racist- although I am willing to say it even if it is because we’ve all agreed that this class is a safe space to negotiate these boundaries and discuss it together without judgement- but I’ve noticed that all of the women we have looked at to date, as well as the authors we will be reading, are lighter-skinned Black women which makes me curious as to the cause of this silence from their darker toned sisters in literature. I wouldn’t think that racism increased as melanin increased, but its possible that I’m wrong. What would cause this silence? Do they feel that what needs to be said has already been said? (I don’t believe this because I don’t think its possible to ever fully say what needs to be said, especially on subjects like these.) Or am I wrong and racism does increase with melanin and they are more oppressed and therefore more afraid to speak up? Then again, this is not a comprehensive list of all of the literature that Black women have written, so perhaps I making an incorrect assumption by calling it a ‘silence’.

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