So, as my title says, I have read some things and did some thinking while reading. This past week I picked up an article that Dr. Conyers (head of Africana Studies here at Kean) had given me when I met with him. The piece was about the images of black women in Afro-American poetry and is written by Andrea Benton. I started to think out loud (by that I just mean on paper as I wrote notes and reflected while reading) and I thought that her ideas about the topic were very interesting and very true.
I will have to check the year that this article was published, but Benton explains how black women are not really seen in a very “rich” or “varied” sense. We symbolize aspects of black life that we value, but others may not. It was true when she stated that mothers are seen quite often in black poetry… that is… a poem can have a character/figure that is portrayed with a mothering spirit. Sometimes “mother” will be in reference to the motherland.. Africa. There is some nurturing aspect there. that is constant. Why? Is it good, bad, or neither? It just is.
“Strength under stress.” Those were the words Andrea Benton used. That phrase reminds me of what my goal was when creatingBreaking the Manacles. I wanted to instill empowerment through pain. What it is like in the midst of it, or how it looked in the aftermath of tragedy. Why is it that the black women in poetry always seems to be “powering through” some hard time… never seeming to have a break… time to breathe? The nature of life is that after one obstacle, another one appears I suppose. The black mother is always strikings and her heavy heart is never ending. Now, I am not specifically looking at mothers and the relationship that their portrayal has to poetry, but I am sort of touching on the image of black women (myself and those in poetry) and what affects race can have in/on their writing.
Even if I do not necessarily use anything from this article, it definitely made me think about some ideas and concepts that are somewhat related to what I am doing and that is more than enough help. There is so much literature out there. I just have to get my hands on it and keep expanding my knowledge of my topic.