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.
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
here is some of my privilege.
I believe they were thinking of me
wearing myrrh and adorned in silver
and that is not selfish
we share the same sun
– the kiss on our skin
we share a love of puzzles
– arrangements of letters
we turn into poems – plays – books – speeches
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You call me angry
But you, have a million ways to hate me
So this isn’t anger / this is my confused face.
these lines on my forehead are
glass ceilings / eulogies / sexism and sermons
these lines are 400 year old collection notices
these lines are me not wanting to compete for every corner of my existence
this isn’t anger.
this is proper placement privilege
this is / been here done that and steady grinding
this is you mistaking me swallowing whole fruit for breasts
this is my lipstick protecting my smile when I kiss the moon at night
it’s not magical all days
sometimes I can’t abracadabra away feeling… “other”
sometimes it’s real survival tactics needed
these lines remind me where I hid bail money
where I’m safe to unbraid my fears and wash my past
this is an emotion you can’t repeat
cause you damn sure duplicate everything else about me
but this isn’t anger.
this is for my pushed back knuckles from
fighting traffic, hunting for low gas prices, scrimmaging through too ripe produce in my local grocery store, you know / regular stuff
this isn’t anger
this is me demanding you stop displaying to the world there are exceptions to me being human
being woman / being protected / be-ing loving / be-ing loved.
this is I don’t want the crime solved 30 years from now when the killer is probably in my breathing space
I’m not supposed to be offended when you call me angry?
But you, -have a million ways to hate me
this isn’t anger.
this is my stay ready face. – by Nikki Skies for “Rebel Yell” on BET.com