Winning: Changing the Language of Breast Cancer

[By Phillis h. Rambsy] In her recent blog post, Simone Savannah reminds us that instead of thinking of their bodies as “abnormal” women should “take charge of their health which also means embracing the differences in their bodies.”  Savannah points to the several poems that “give women the space to embrace their bodies.”  These poems allow women, particularly, Black women, to re-imagine the racist and […]

Breast Cancer: Black Women’s Bodies and Poetry

[By Simone Savannah] National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was established in 1985 to encourage women to take charge of their breast health by getting mammograms. Mammography is used to screen breast abnormalities for both men and women. As I did my research on breast cancer, I was drawn to the word “abnormal” as it was very much present throughout each blog and medical site. What […]

Democratic Womanism by Alice Walker

[By Simone Savannah] Alice Walker recently read her new poem, “Democratic Womanism” on Democracy Now! Used throughout her book, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose, the “Womanism” is used to describe the perspectives and the experiences of women of color. Though the propaganda surrounding this election has been about women’s issues, including reproductive health and rights, and though candidates have attempted to share […]

The Confrontation With Abuse for Black Women in Ntazoke Shange’s “With No Immediate Cause” and Nikki Giovanni’s “Woman”

[By Simone Savannah] I have spent a number of years examining women’s issues, including the confrontation with sexism and racism for Black women in Literature and Creative Writing. Furthermore, since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and because of the overwhelming conversations about recent attacks against Black women, I have chosen to dedicate this post to victims/survivors of domestic violence. The conversations surrounding the abuse […]

Reading Gayl Jones Corregidora: The Body Text

[By Goyland Williams] The Corregidora women are haunted. The trauma is evident. Entrenched in a narrative marred by the legacy of slavery, oppression, and the ghost of the past, Gayl Jones explores what Susan Sontag calls “collective instruction” of traumatic narratives that are inscribed upon the flesh of the Corregidora women. Lines become blurred. The personal, familial, and collective remembrances of violent histories collide. In […]

A Black Humanist Theology: Reading Toni Morrison

[By Goyland Williams] My research interest in philosophy and literature- more specifically, Existentialism, has continuously led me to the works of Toni Morrison. And while Morrison’s works need no justification—philosophical or literary—they present an opportunity to consider how the history of oppression can afflict a group of people, both past and present. The Bluest Eye presents the most compelling response to the question Dubois raised […]

Learning from a Postracial Moment: Notes from The University of Bielefeld

[By Maryemma Graham] Bielefeld University in the western part of Germany seemed an unlikely place to make a discovery.  Teaching for 30 years, facing a new group of students on a regular basis is common practice for me. As far as I was concerned, my trip to the University of Bielefeld for an intensive 4 day seminar “Gender and Memoir” entailed another set of prepared […]