Tag Archives: black women writers

Awareness

“Stories centered around Black Women occupy an oppressive gaze that silences her voice. In these stories, the performance of her voice is used to the benefit of the protagonist and written in an “othered” form that is separate from her body. With the structure of the story being centered around Black Women, the writer is positioned to inform the audience how her body should or may perform to drive the plot and assist in completing the story. This storytelling style objectifies Black Women’s lives and presents her as a spectacle in constant response to her circumstances. She Chronicles focuses on Black Women centered stories that explore her livelihood from a holistic perspective.” – Nikki Skies

A Remarkable Read – Feminize Your Canon: Alice Dunbar-Nelson – [Artist Recognition / History Study] — Authentikei

“Oft have I thrilled at deeds of high emprise, / And yearned to venture into realms unknown,” Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson – “To Madame Curie” A powerful force from history greeted me today through The Paris Review: Alice Dunbar-Nelson. I came across this article by Joanna Scutts while looking for magazines that accepted poetry. I was […]

A Remarkable Read – Feminize Your Canon: Alice Dunbar-Nelson – [Artist Recognition / History Study] — Authentikei

Alice Walker… the Scholar

I have seen Alice Walker speak twice here in Atlanta. Both times, the crowd was mostly women, predominately white women. My last observation of the energy from the admiration of her literary works came during the Q and A. I remember sitting there trying to construct a precise question on how she connects her creative process with her person as a black woman. What I realized specifically is that the majority of the questions from the black women were trying to get the same information as I was and that the white women were asking her about spirituality. I remember thinking how odd that seemed to me that both black and white women seemed uninterested in the documentary that was just viewed. We wanted more and yet, Alice Walker is for the most part a fiction writer.

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Fast forward to me now back in grad school and how often she is referenced in Africana Women’s Studies, Gender Studies and Women’s Studies. It all makes sense. My question on how she connects her creativity  and her womanhood is in all of her work. I know realize how intuitively and effortlessly this is done in her work. I’m not certain of this, but I don’t think as she sat and wrote prose, short stories or poems that she was thinking on how she could contribute to feminist critical theory or black feminist theory. Nor could she have known how her personal expansion of feminism into “womanism” would take on entire subjects. Or perhaps she did… after all she is also an essayists and speaker.

Continue reading Alice Walker… the Scholar

Road Paver – Kathleen Collins

Today would have been the 77th birthday of poet, playwright, writer, filmmaker, director, civil rights activist, and educator, Kathleen Collins.  I am taking time to insert her into my repertoire because she was the first black woman to direct a feature-length drama. Collins paved the road for Julie Dash. Commonly, Julie Dash is given credit for being the first black woman to direct a feature length film.

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Influenced by the works of playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, Collins’ work centered around African Americans as human subjects and not as mere race subjects. This being a clear indication to her black feminism work in film and activism against vilified images and stereotypes.

As I journey on this path of shifting, reflecting and altering my personal perceptions of my artistic work in literature, I am “inserting” the names of black women who may exist prominently in the shadows. May their names and work re-join the rain dancers and roux makers of black women creators.

Happy Birthday Kathleen Collins!

Re-membering Vinnette Justine Carroll…

My research focuses on the “insertion” work of black women in literature, particularly theatre. Carroll is a “first” that probably a lot of people do not know about, not just theatre but Broadway.

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Today on her birthday, I re-member Vinnette Justine Carroll who was the “first” black woman to direct a play on Broadway, with her 1972 production of the musical Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope. In addition, until 2016, Carroll was the only black woman to have received a Tony Award nomination for direction. That is 44 years, four decades, that passed before Tony consideration was given for a black woman director on Broadway. And just to do the math, when Carroll made history directing this musical, Broadway had been producing theatre for approximately 115 years.

Carroll was also an actor and playwright. She is known for the reinvention of song-play, the expression of identity through gospel music in the African-American theatre experience. Not surprising, Carroll was into creating and directing new works that positively and artistically presented people of color in theater and art. Her primary interest was giving voice to African Americans and other minority communities that have been culturally and artistically silenced.

Happy birthday to Tony Award nominated director, Vinnette Justine Carroll! Add her name to your name of black women being properly “inserted” and recognized for her artistic contributions in theatre.

 

Happy Birthday Gloria Naylor!

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Gloria Naylor wrote one of my favorite books, “The Women of Brewster Place”. I probably consider it one of my favorites because it is full of women characters, colorful characters I could draw monologues from.

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Naylor’s debut novel, The Women of Brewster Place, was published in 1982 and won the 1983 National Book Award in the category First Novel.[5] It was adapted as a 1989 television miniseries of the same name by Oprah Winfrey‘s Harpo Productions.

Naylor’s work is featured in such anthologies as Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Fiction (ed. Terry McMillan, 1990), Calling the Wind: Twentieth-Century African-American Short Stories (ed. Clarence Major, 1992) and Daughters of Africa (ed. Margaret Busby, 1992).

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Thank you for such amazing literature! Happy birthday and we remember you!