Katherine Dunham’s Use of Technology and Dance

[By Danielle Hall] Some of what I have found most fascinating while researching Katherine Dunham as an intellectual involve examining the ways in which she used technology (film and musical recording devices) and her dance technique to advance the knowledge and studies of black people and Diasporan cultures throughout the world. Dance, then, functioned as a form of “Diaspora literacy” (as coined by VèVè Clark) […]

I Say: Speaking Agency in Sonia Sanchez’s “Song No. 2”

[By Cindy Lyles]   The idea of agency encompasses one’s ability to enact power, to choose, and to navigate psychological and literal borders. In Sonia Sanchez’s poetry, this concept is prevalent, especially in the vivid imagery of mobility. Readers see various speakers in her different poems traveling from one place to another. In her poem “Song No. 2,” the poet uses distinct speech acts a […]

The Mischief of Memory and Making the Self: Thoughts on Lucille Clifton’s Conceptual Construct of Memory in Generations

DaMaris B. Hill is a doctoral candidate in the English-Creative Writing Program at the University of Kansas.  She is a member of the National Writing Project and graduate of Morgan State University with a MA degree in English.  Her story “On the Other Side of Heaven – 1957” won the 2003 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award for Short Fiction. Her writing is published with or […]

Break It Down: Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

[By Goyland Williams] “Break It Down” is an HBW Literary Blog initiative that strives to offer critical interpretations of song lyrics, excerpts from novels, and poems. This week, Blog Contributor Goyland Williams has analyzed an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye. P. 206 Oh, some of us “loved” her. The Maginot Line. And Cholly loved her. I’m sure he did. He, at any […]

Where are the Girls? : 5 Novels That Focus on Black Girls

[By Goyland Williams] In my last post, I mentioned Toni Morrison’s motivation and sense of urgency for writing The Bluest Eye as stemming from her concern that far too many novels failed to acknowledge and fully develop young black girls as central characters. An exploration of African American novels that place attention on young black girls, such as Pecola Breedlove, present readers with both similar […]

Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye: Black Girls as Central Figures

   [By Goyland Williams]   The same year The Bluest Eye (1970) was published, the Black Power Movement and other black struggles for liberation of the 1960s had influenced black literature significantly. Central to those movements’ message was the emphasis of loving and valuing blackness. Because of this, Toni Morrison describes in a interview why The Bluest Eye having “a little hurt black girl at […]