Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women's Writings
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University Press of Florida
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (49.6 KB)
Many people and institutions contributed to the development of this book. My gratitude first goes to the readers who critiqued the chapters of this project: Opal Palmer Adisa, Susan Schweik, David Lloyd, Margaret Wilkerson, and especially the late Barbara Christian—to whom this book is dedicated. A Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National ...
Download PDF (44.3 KB)
In “The Height of Disrespect,” Thulani Davis emphasizes the objectification of young black women in hip-hop lyrics and videos and chronicles the relationship between the way these women are portrayed and what Davis views as the lack of self-respect exhibited by many of these performers. Davis’s concerns are shared by many cultural critics who believe that hip-hop culture disproportionately ...
Introduction: Spirit and Flesh: Black Female Aesthetics
Download PDF (78.5 KB)
Since their emergence on the literary stage, New World black writers have faced the challenge of representing a worldview that is inherently syncretic while using a literary model that privileges Western theoretical and epistemological precepts. In Black Subjects, Arlene Keizer argues that during slavery black identities were invented out of the conflict between two competing ...
1 The Cult of Nineteenth-Century Black Womanhood
Download PDF (141.2 KB)
From the time of the black woman’s first appearance on the New World stage, her moral character was beleaguered by vituperative stereotypes steeped in pseudoscientific myth, virulent rumor, and salacious fallacy. As a consequence, black women were conflicted regarding the issue of sexuality. How could they not be? Most sought refuge in silence and repression. ...
2 Literary Interventions in Their Eyes Were Watching God
Download PDF (196.0 KB)
Their Eyes Were Watching God revolutionized the depiction of black female sexuality in African-American literature. Critics of Hurston’s work generally agree that in 1937, when she wrote her second novel, the damaging effects of nineteenth-century sexual ideology on black women’s subjectivities and writings were fully entrenched. The black press cautioned writers to keep ...
3 Contradictory Directives and the Erotics of Re-membering: New World Spiritual Practices and Black Female Subjectivity in Beloved
Download PDF (279.9 KB)
In “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Spiritual Foundation,” Toni Morrison suggests that what we call a “black aesthetic” is largely informed by an African-centered epistemology. The black writer is invested with an authoritative control that derives from the worldview of her real-world community and is recoded into the mimetic—but imaginary—community in the text. ...
4 The Erotics of Change: Female Sexuality, Afro-Caribbean Spirituality, and a “Postmodern” Caribbean Identity in It Begins with Tears
Download PDF (199.5 KB)
As someone who was born and raised in Jamaica but spent most of her adult life in the United States, Opal Palmer Adisa writes with a full recognition of the interrelatedness of African diasporic cultures and the foundational aspect of West African cosmology for the worldview of these cultures. Inherent in her oeuvre is the seamless interweaving of philosophical, religious, mythical, cultural, and psychological ...
5 Power, Eros, and Genocide: Capitalism and Black Female Subjectivity in The Farming of Bones
Download PDF (188.8 KB)
Like the three preceding chapters, this final one examines the healing potential of the erotic. Danticat’s Farming of Bones provides a useful framework from which to examine the recuperation of black female subjectivity after a historical trauma that took place in 1937, the same year Hurston published Their Eyes Were Watching God. In Farming of Bones, the female protagonist is a Haitian immigrant ...
Download PDF (48.7 KB)
It is up to us as black women to take our historically beleagured bodies and images back from the clutches of capitalistic and patriarchal hegemonies. Diana Ferrus, who is of Khoisan descent like Sara Baartman, wrote the above poem while studying in Utrecht, Holland, in 1998. Many believe that it was this poem that catalyzed Nelson Mandela into action to reclaim the remains of his countrywoman from France in 2002. One hundred and ...
Download PDF (140.9 KB)
Download PDF (86.4 KB)
Download PDF (93.6 KB)
Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2009