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Showing posts from March, 2016

Citizen:An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

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by Tayé Foster Bradshaw, Kirkwood MO Today is International Poetry Day. It is a day to pause and remember the place of verse, lyric, prose, and line in helping us to understand and give voice to some of life's complexities. Rarely is poetry reviewed on this site, a place almost solely dedicated to celebrating black female literary works. Claudia's work, however, almost demands to be noticed. This small volume is a collection of thoughts, images, and reflections on the place of race and existence in these  United States. More specifically, she has interwoven the ubiquitious YOU into the fabric of these musings to have everyone ponder what does it mean to be called "citizen." Is the little black boy in the classroom whose skin invokes an irrational fear in his white female teacher a citizen? What about the celebrated tennis player whose presence evokes some of the most egregious commentary? Where is the space held for the man on the train or the woman buyi

Playing My Mother's Blues by Valerie Wilson Wesley

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Stories about mothers and daughters can be either a cliché or a conversation. Valerie Wilson Wesley invited us to consider the present situation of one mother and her two daughters as they grabble with a decison made before they were aware of the consequenses. Stepping into this muse, stretched out over the course of one weekend, felt a lot like sitting down for a latte with a sistafriend and asking her, "Tell me what happened." We would sit there for hours while she weaves together the events, memory fading in spaces, that completely altered the last twenty years. Oftentimes, I have found myself asking "what if" when I think of my late mother. A girl without a mother is almost always wondering, searching, pondering. This is a story of just such emotions, wrapped around the tragic events of two decisions that made one question being respectable and being reckless.  What if. Dani, Rose, Maria/Mariah, Mai, Trish, Lucille, Irish - these women and the i