Comedy – Isn’t that funny?

We have been working diligently, putting our creative minds to work in drawing connections between Dante’s Paradiso and Morrison’s Paradise. In our most recent class days working on the final project, the word “comedy” came up a few times, and bounced around my head for a while. Of course it was partially because we were working with the Divine Comedy, but the word continued to bounce around when we were drawing connections to Paradise and African-American writing, so I figured there must be a connection. There was.

The word “comedy” Continue reading “Comedy – Isn’t that funny?”

Humanities for the Hood

Since the first day of class when I found out that Toni Morrison claims to write for Black people, I have been dissecting her works in search of any indications as to why. I wondered if Morrison’s claim to write for Black people was a way of turning her work into forbidden fruit for non-Black people, especially White people, enticing them to read it. I also pondered on the possibility that Morrison makes Black people her target audience to eliminate the notion that reading is a White thing, and to get them to read.

On my quest, I have landed on another theory. Continue reading “Humanities for the Hood”

Some More Historical Significance

While searching through the beginning chapters of Jazz for historically significant references , I came across a couple that were not mentioned in class. The first is the “armistice” that is referred to while the narrator is describing the veterans on Seventh Avenue. This is a reference to the Armistice of 11 November 1918 which took place between the Allies and the Germans during the first World War. This agreement stopped the fighting on the Western Front, which was the battleground of WWI. I find this significant because it pushes me to do research on the roles that African-Americans played in the war and how their lives were impacted both during and after it was over.

Another reference that stands out to me is found when Violet is talking (or thinking) about Dorcas. She mentions a school named Wadleigh. I looked it up and it turns out that Wadleigh, an institution still standing today, was the first public school for girls established in NYC.

These significant references make me feel like nothing in Morrison’s texts should be looked over. Her texts are very informative.

Single Story of the Black Man

Throughout our powerful conversation on Monday that concluded on the topic of single stories, I could not stop thinking about the single story that I myself and the rest of the Black male population in America are characters of. The single story of Black males that is composed of characteristics such as violent tendencies, aggression, rudeness, and others that make people afraid, or unwilling to communicate with them (us) are strong. So strong Continue reading “Single Story of the Black Man”

Snow Tension

When we were asked in class to discuss the relation (if any) between accumulating snowfall and Beloved, I was drawing blanks. It almost felt as if I was trying to force a connection. But, after some discussion and brainstorming, my group and I introduced the idea that falling snow could be a reflection of the tension building between the characters in the story. Just as the early flurries of a blizzard appear harmless and somewhat pleasant, the tensions amongst the people in Sethe’s household give off the same vibe, with benign interactions increasing in danger with accumulation.

The first example is found Continue reading “Snow Tension”

Black People Don’t Read

When Beth told us of how Toni Morrison mentioned that she writes for black people, the first thing I thought about was a topic that came up a couple times in Beth’s African-American Literature course. Several writers and critics who were covered in the course mentioned that Black people do not read. I remember thinking deeply about this idea and although I initially got defensive, I thought to myself, “It’s actually true. Black people really don’t like to read.”

Growing up in a minority environment, and going to minority schools, I witnessed first hand that reading was never a favorite pastime or even hobby for most Black people, myself included. I began to wonder why. There are many reasons that I can think of as to why Black people are not interested in reading, but for the purpose of this post, I will just connect this fun fact to Morrison’s statement about writing for Black people. Perhaps, Morrison notices that Black people do not like to read, and she feels as if the reason for it is that reading has been made out to be a White thing.

Throughout my childhood, the people that I saw who actually read books for fun were the White people on television. In real life, it was very rare that I would find somebody who I knew reading a book, unless it was assigned for a class. I think it is possible that one of Toni Morrison’s motives in stressing that she writes for Black people is to get Black people to read. She shatters the notion that reading is a White thing by making the Black community her target audience.