-- read in Norton pp. 1853-1866 bio material on Martin Luther King, Jr., and "Letter from Birmingham Jail." We'll consider King's writing in contrast to other writers of the Black Arts Movement and their approaches to racial injustice. Also, give a listen to King's "I Have a Dream Speech" on the Norton CD, track 20 in your own time, as an example of King's oratory style.
-- read in Norton pp. 1977-1982 bio material on Haki R. Madhubuti and all the poems. We'll consider Madhubuti's presentation of black life c. the late 60s in comparison to others from the same period.
-- read in Norton pp.1902-1906 bio material on Sonia Sanchez and all poems. Sanchez inaugurates the numerous female poets/writers with whom we conclude the course. Sanchez and others present the emerging discourse of black women in the U.S., in ways that respond to much of the earlier (explicit and impicit) misogynies and overlookings of women in the Black Arts Movement.
-- read in Norton pp.1982-1985 bio material on Nikki Giovanni and all poems (including "The Great Pax Whitie" as a handout if/when I find an unmarked copy!!). Sadly, the Norton editors leave out the more militant of Giovanni's pieces (and nobody puts on a rant like Giovanni!), so we're left with a sampling of quiter poems (hence the handout of additional work). Giovanni also addresses black women's aesthetics, which we'll consider in the face of predominantly patriarchal/masculist Black Arts discourse.
-- note: read in Norton pp.2011-2020 the editors' introduction "Literature Since 1970," but notes will be e-mailed to you or set on-line and the URL forwarded to you, in the interest of saving time; you will be responsible for reading the material and the notes, and may be quizzed on both.
-- read Toni Morrison's first novel The Bluest Eye. (Don't be deceive dby the novel's lack of length -- it's increadibly packed and beautiful to read.) We'll discuss several of the issues her novel addresses; we'll focus particularly on black internalization of dominant white aesthetics and its generational influences and reactions. (To help our discussion, I'll refer to Elizabeth Spelman's essay "Erasure of Black Women" in the course packet, specifically her discussion of Adrienne Rich's notion of "white solipsism" and her own notion of "somatophobia," disddain or fear of black women's bodies [by themselves and others] as a phenomenon that bridges racism, sexism, and patriarchy. Have a look.)
-- we'll finish Morrison's The Bluest Eye (well, we'll finish with it within the limits of class time -- this is another novel which really deserves a week or more to itself).
-- PAPER DUE in my mailbox (Turlington Hall, 4th floor, English Department mail-room) by 4 p.m.
Check paper site for details.
NO CLASS TODAY
-- for reasons of time, we'll omit Maya Angelou (abject apologies)
-- read in Norton pp.2203-2212 bio material on Audre Lorde and all poems, as well as "Poetry Is Not a Luxury." Lodre is a figure of such influence on the general intellectual and specific poetry scenes that it's impossible to do her justice. "Poetry Is Not a Luxury," one of the numerous manifesti from Sister Outsider (source of the famous and problematic credo "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house") presents a view of Lorde's petic project and aesthetic.
-- read in Norton pp.2227-2241 bio material on June Jordan, poems "I Must become a Menace to My Enemies" and "Poem about My Rights," and essay "A New Politics of Sexuality." We'll consider the interrealtions of Jordan's treatise on sexuality in terms of her poetry, and the emerging lesbian movement within black women's community.
-- for reasons of time, we'll omit Michael Harper (mea culpa)
-- read in Norton pp. 2285-2301, bio material on Ishmael Reed, poems "I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra" and treatise "Neo-Hoo Doo Manifesto." Reed, one of the most famous figures of this period, presents an image of blackness that embraces the very imagery for which dominant white discourse demonized it -- with highly appealing and evocative results.
-- we end our course readings with writers Ntozake Shange and Alice Walker; for reasons of time we'll omit Jamaica Kincaid
-- read in Norton pp.2518-2524 bio material on Ntozake Shange and all poems, especially the excerpt from for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf."
-- read in Norton pp. 2375-2387 bio material on Alice Walker, poem "Women," and her treatise/essay "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens."
-- study day; no class
-- FINAL 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 since the Mid-term exam, including class notes.
The exam comprises two parts: