OFF FOR MEMORIAL DAY
-- carry over from Friday Norton pp. 1650-1654, bio on James Baldwin, and pp. 1694-1717 Baldwin's short story "Sonny's Blues." We'll discuss Wright's influence on Baldwin, as well as focus on jazz (not for the first time) as a cultural mode for the black world.
-- to facilitate discussion, I suggest perusing the two examples of literay/historical commentary on "Sonny's Blues" included in your course packet, pp.75-85: John Reilly's " 'Sonny's Blues': James Baldwin's Image of Black Community" and Sherley Willaims' "The Black Musician: The Black Hero as Light-Bearer." These two pieces exemplify early attempts to explicate Baldwin's text(s), and to connect the creative realms of black music and writing.
-- read in Norton pp.1725-1728, bio material on Lorraine Hansberry, and pp. 1728-1789 Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. We'll try to put the play into perpective as an artistic inheritance from, as well as reaction to, previous artists such as Baldwin and Ellison.
-- continue/finish Hansberry A Raisin in the Sun.
-- for reasons of time, we'll need to delete Margaret Walker from our reading list
-- read in Norton pp. 1577-1591, bio material on Gwendolyn Brooks, and poems "the mother," "a song in the front yard," "sadie and maude," and "The Sunday of Satin-Legs Smith," and "We Real Cool"; also in a handout I'll give to you, the poems "A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon" and "The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till." Brooks offers us a transition from the Wright/Ellison/Baldwin period to that of the Black Arts Movement, which we'll discuss next week. We'll discuss what Brooks brings to black literature in terms of her attention to race, class, and gender simultaneously, especially in how she treats historical event through poetry (in comparison to Hayden, for instance).
-- MID TERM EXAM: come prepared and on time for your exam;
we'll start at 9:30 a.m. sharp, and you'll have the entire period. The exam
will include only material covered from the beginning of the
semester to last Friday, including class notes.
The exam comprises two parts:
-- read in Norton pp. 1791-1806, the editors' historical section on "The Black Arts Movement 1960-1970"
-- read in Norton pp. 1809-1816, bio material on Hoyt Fuller, and "Towards a Black Aesthetic." As we discuss Fuller's treatise, we'll try to put it in context of previous treatises we've read.
-- read in Norton pp. 1959-1972, bio material on Larry Neal and "The Black Arts Movement." Neal's treatise/essay, published the year following Fuller's, further expands the sociological concept of black arts and artists. We'll discuss Neal and place him in context with previous writers on the subject.
-- read in Norton pp. 1972-1977, bio material on Maulana Karenga and "Black Art: Mute Matter Given Force and Function." We'll continue tracing the development of theories of the black arts/artist.
-- read in Norton pp.1806-1808, bio material on Mari Evans and poems "Status Symbol" and "I Am a Black Woman." Evans' two poems in Norton span the period covered by Fuller, Neal, and Karenga; we'll read her poems in terms of the issues those writers raised.
-- read in Norton pp. 1816-1833, bio material on Malcom X and excerpts from The Autobiography of Malcom X. Do I really need to explain why we're reading this?
-- read in Norton pp. 1877-1884, bio material on Amiri Baraka and poems "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note," "A Poem for Black Hearts," "SOS," and "Black Art." Amiri Baraka needs no preamble, either.