Black-Feminist-Literature

The University of Texas is teaching a class about Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

The university of Texas at San Antonio launches new college course “Black Women, Beyoncé & Popular Culture”. The university is about to give students a sip of Beyoncé’s Lemonade in the form of an English course.

According to the UTSA magazine, Dr. Kinitra D. Brooks, the Sombrilla, English professor is going to teach the class. In the description, she pointed out that the Beyoncé’s projects have become more than successful peace of art, it’s a movement that needs to be thoroughly studied.

Beyoncé got the entire world to watch a 55-minute avant-garde film. LEMONADE is a meditation on contemporary black womanhood. The purpose of this class is to explore the theoretical, historical, and literary frameworks of black feminism, which feature prominently in LEMONADE. We will use LEMONADE as a starting point to examine the sociocultural issues that are most prominent in black womanhood through black feminist theory, literature, music, and film.

“The course will be new, fun, and exciting—but I expect my students to come in hungry for knowledge and open to new theories about race and gender in popular culture.”

OK students, now let’s get in formation.

#BlackCulture

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) was the first African-American woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize. She achieved this in 1950, when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her second published collection, Annie Allen.

Her work was greatly inspired by urban life and by the black cultural nationalist movement. She received numerous literary awards throughout the years, along with 75 honorary degrees from universities across the world. From 1968 until her death she was the Poet Laureate of Illinois.

MEN DEFEND THEIR RESOURCES

“Men stand up and control their environment. Then they must secure and defend their resources. Security and defense follow the establishment of one’s turf. Defense must always be handled discreetly among those most strongly committed to maintaining the resources against its enemies. The reason that the Nation of Islam was perceived as so “dangerous” was that everybody had heard of the “Fruit of Islam” and they understood that the “Fruit” didn’t take any mess. There was a security system built within the structure of the organization. We must understand that men not only define their resources, not only control their resources, they must also defend those resources. Black women should never be at the mercy of white men for jobs, in institutions, or any place else. It should not be necessary for black women to go to a white feminist organization about sexual harassment. All she needs to do is to find any brother anywhere and say, “These people are messing with me,” and step back. That’s all that she should need to do. Once that’s done, that’s it. No more questions. No more problems. We shouldn’t have to worry about the defense of anybody who stands up for us. But we know that until we come into the consciousness and awareness of our manhood we are always in danger. Not only from each other (those of us who have not awakened to our situation) but also from Europeans. We are constantly in danger as long as we don’t understand that men must be in position to defend and secure the resources that they have.”

- Na’im Akbar, VISIONS FOR BLACK MEN

Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897) was an African-American writer who, in 1861, published the autobiographical novel Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. This was one of the first books ever to address the struggle of female slaves, and their constant subjection to abuse and sexual harassment.

As a freed slave, she told about the horrors lived under her white master, who constantly abused and assaulted her. Her story showed that black women were generally at a greater risk of this type of mistreatment, and insisted on their equal right to a decent life. She was active in the abolitionist movement after her release.

Dey gointuh make ‘miration 'cause mah love didn’t work lak they love, if dey ever had any. Then you must tell 'em dat love ain’t somethin’ lak uh grindstone dat’s de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.
—  Janie Crawford, from Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)