+ELIT 48C Class # 23ComplementversusComplimentGreatSweater! Itlooks goodwith thosejeans!Thanks!I justboughtit!
+Grammar Slide Complement is a noun or verb that meanssomething that completes or makes up a whole:“The red sweater is a perfect complement to theoutfit.” Compliment is a noun or verb that means anexpression of praise or admiration: “I receivedcompliments about my new red sweater.” Easily Confused or Misused Words | Infoplease.comhttp://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0200807.html#ixzz2T7S5NSIg
+AGENDAChair poetryAfrican American (Minority) CriticismLectureDiscussionFriday: The Great Gatsby11:00 am at the AMC Cupertino square 16.
+Chair Poet of the Day?Prose: words intheir best order;poetry: the bestwords in the bestorder.- S. T. Coleridge
+Toni Morrison: American novelist, Americanliterary critic, editor, and professor.Henry Louis Gates, Jr. : American literary critic,educator, scholar, writer, editor, and publicintellectualAfricanAmericanCriticism
+The following perspectives help identifyAfrican-American criticismAfrican American criticism notes that black writingcomes out of a sociological, political, ideological, andcultural situation marked by oppression andmarginalization. “Black” reading then must negotiatethe difficult boundaries between textual and culturalmeanings. Black criticism has substantial ties to post-colonialcriticism, and to the issues in it of the representation of theother” and the reclamation of identity in the forms andlanguage of the oppressor.
+African American criticism has an awarenessthat black experience has ties to Africanlanguage, cultural practices, and attitudes, thatit is formed through the experience of slaveryand violence, that it has endured a long andtroubled negotiation with white culture, so thatblack artistic production in white cultures ismarked by white culture positively andnegatively.
African American criticism is a struggle overthe relation of race, reading, and critical theory,similar in some respects to that of feministtheory: Who “speaks for” blacks? Can only blacks “read” black literature? Can black literature be read with the tools ofcontemporary criticism, or does it demand amore basic, moral and ideologicalcommitment?
African American criticism examines how white writing inracist countries reveals the nature of the oppression ofblacks.Toni Morrison, for instance, argues that American cultureis built on, and always includes, the presence of blacks, asslaves, as outsiders. Morrison likens the unwillingness ofacademics in a racist society to see the place ofAfricanism in literature and culture to the centuries ofunwillingness to see feminine discourse, concerns, andidentity.She posits whiteness as the “other” of blackness, adialectical pair (each term both creates and excludes theother): no freedom without slavery, no white without black.
African American criticism is also an attempt to come to termswith the whole issue of what “race” is. Historically race has been seen as something essential. That race isinherent, a matter of blood, was and is firmly believed byAmericans, is clear from the recent autobiography of an American,Gregory Howard Williams, now Dean of the Law School at OhioState, Life on the Color Line, a man who looks white, and whosefather passed as Italian in Virginia, where his family was not known.He was, in Virginia, accepted and treated as white, but he wastreated as black (and hence was the victim of exclusion and otherprejudicial behavior) when the family returned to their home town ofMuncie, Indiana: there they knew that his grandmother was black;therefore, he was black. When is white black?-- When you have some “black blood”? Orwhen people know or think you have black blood?
As a subject matter, any analysis of a literary work written byan African American, regardless of the theoretical frameworkused, might be called African American criticism, even if noattention is paid to elements in the text that are specificallyAfrican American. However, as a theoretical framework [. . .] African Americancriticism foregrounds race (racial identity, African Americancultural traditions, psychology, politics, and so forth) as theobject of analysis because race, in America, informs ourindividual and cultural psychology, and therefore our literature,in profound ways. As a theoretical framework, then, AfricanAmerican criticism can be used to analyze any literarytext that speaks to African American issues, regardless ofthe race of its author, although the work of African Americanwriters is the primary focus (Tyson 394).
+Important Terms In The Souls of Black Folk, arguably W.E.B. DuBois‟s mostfamous work, he introduces and addresses two concepts thatdescribe the quintessential Black experience in America. Thefirst is the concept of “the veil. ” The veil concept primarily refers to three conditions of racialdifference: The literal darker skin of Blacks, which is a physical demarcationof difference from whiteness. White people‟s lack of clarity to see Blacks as “true” Americans. Blacks‟ lack of clarity to see themselves outside of what whiteAmerica describes and prescribes for them.
+Important Terms The second concept that Debois introduces is “double-consciousness.” This concept is inextricably intertwined with “the veil.”The veil dampens the view of both Blacks and Whites, yetBlacks traditionally have a better understanding of whites thanthe reverse because of the “two-ness” lived by Black Americans.Understanding being Black and what that has historically meant(or means) in America, Black people know they operate in twoAmericas— one that is White and one that is Black. This is thephenomena of “double-consciousness,” the awareness of the“two-ness” of being both American and African American andthe largely unconscious and instinctive shifts between the thesetwo identities.
+Some questions African Americancritics ask about literary texts1. What can the work teach us about the specifics of African heritage,African American culture and experience, and/or African Americanhistory?2. What are the racial politics (ideological agendas related to racialoppression or liberation) of specific African American works? Does the work correct stereotypes of African Americans? Does it correct historical misrepresentations of African Americans? Does it celebrate African American culture, experience, andachievement? Does it explore racial issues, including, among others, the economic,social, or psychological effects of racism? Or, does it, as can be seen in the literary production of many whiteauthors, does the work reinforce racist ideologies?
+3. What are the poetics (literary devices and strategies) ofspecific African American works? Does the work use black vernacular or standard white English? Does the work draw on African myths or African Americanfolktales or folk motifs? Does the work provide imagery that resonates with AfricanAmerican women’s domestic space, African American culturalpractices, history, or heritage? What are the effects of these literary devices, and how do theyrelate to the theme, or meaning, of the work?
+4. How does the work participate in the African Americanliterary tradition? In short, what place does it occupy in AfricanAmerican literary history or in African American women’sliterary history?5. How does the work illustrate interest convergences, thesocial construction of race, white privilege, or any otherconcept from critical race theory? How can an understandingof these concepts deepen our interpretation of the work?6. How is an Africanist presence—black characters, storiesabout black people, representations of black speech, imagesassociated with Africa or with blackness—used in works bywhite writers to construct positive portrayals of whitecharacters?
+QHQ: African American Criticism Why is it relevant to talk about African American Criticism? Does it limit African-American artists to say that racial and/or politicalstatements are more important than entertainment, “art for art‟ssake,” or another motivation? Why would black writers feel the need to write in proper Englishrather than their own language [vernacular]? Why was it important for black writers to have a doubleconsciousness? Why are people of color, according to the African American criticism,sometimes considered oversensitive when offended by issues thatare considered racist by them? How does reading African American criticism help broaden our viewsof how literature has been affected by the social structures of race?
+For Discussion I wanted to discuss the idea of intra-racial racism. This issomething I have never heard in any other criticism or bookbefore. However, it is something that I have seen in real life.This concept is not subjective to only African Americans, in factin many races there are individuals who feel that they superiorto others of their same race. This, in my opinion, destroys thesense of unity that is needed in order to stop oppression. Does intra-racial racism attribute to the double consciousness?
+Consider one of our previous texts throughthe lens of African American Criticism.
+The Great Gatsby In chapter four, Gatsby takes Nick in hurtling in his car towardsManhattan with “fenders spread like wings” to witness the power hismoney has bought him. In less than a page, the narrator Nick makesseveral pejorative comments that address aspects of race and ethnicity,noting friends of a dead man who had “…the tragic eyes and short upperlips of southeastern Europe,” as well as introducing us to Gatsby‟scolleague, Mr. Wofsheim, who he describes as a “small, flat-nosed Jew.”Tom and Daisy are never described in terms like these, the presumptionbeing that being white and Protestant is normal and not worth mentioning;any deviation is potentially suspect and worth keeping a close eye on. Inthis passage, Nick notices something he finds extraordinary: “As wecrossed Blackwell‟s Island, a limousine passed us, driven by a whitechauffeur, in which sat three modish negroes, two bucks and a girl. Ilaughed aloud as the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us in haughtyrivalry. „Anything can happen now that we‟ve slid over this bridge,‟ Ithought; „anything at all…‟” This is incredibly disturbing! Is the narrator asracist as this passage would lead one to believe? Is the narratorexpressing sentiments that Fitzgerald espoused?
+The Great Gatsby There is a scene in the book in the beginning when Tom isreading a book called “The Rise of the Colored Empires” by aman named “Goddard.” Tom tells Nick that “civilization‟s goingto pieces” and that it is “scientifically proven.” I think this is aform of institutionalized racism, since this book that Tom isreading seems to have made it into the canon and the fact thatit is “scientifically proven” seems like the dominant race inAmerica, the whites, are trying really hard to keep the blackpeople in place.
+My Ántonia Applying African-American Criticism to My Antonia, one can seed‟ Arnault falls very cleanly into one of the many “charactertypes” that are mentioned in the book on criticism: “the localhealer, the conjurer, the matriarch, the local storyteller, thetrickster, the religious leader, and the folk hero” (386). SamsonD‟ Arnault clearly is the folk hero. In My Antonia, when he playspiano, he is described as “some glistening African god ofpleasure, full of strong, savage blood” (118). He is the folk herowho is prodigiously talented at playing piano. (“He was always anegro prodigy who played barbarously and wonderfully” (117).)This exotic image of d‟ Arnault as foreign and fascinating is akinto the African-American version of Orientalism. Also, since d‟Arnault is not recently from Africa, this image of being an Africangod suggests the piece of African-American criticism thathearkens back to Africa itself.
+“I, Too” [I want to] take a psychoanalytic approach along with the minority lens.The text for homework discussing the criticism brought up someinteresting points, in black history as well as the present state of thecontinued racial injustices of today along with the internalized oppression.The poem “I, too” does not display internalized oppression but rather theopposite, and a mindset that differs others from the idea that they aretruly inferior to the white race. The speaker says, “Tomorrow…/they willsee how beautiful we are/and be ashamed” showing confidence andhaving a subtle implication that others should feel the same way. Eventhough this poem is modern there still seems to be a bit of forcefulsuggestion about how blacks should feel about themselves in theoppressive society in which they live and always look toward tomorrowinstead of focusing on the norms of their day that degrade them; and tonot allow the pressures of the oppressive world intrude into their psyche.This poem clearly opposes the residency of internalized oppression withinthe black mind by suggesting that the white race someday will see theirbeauty and realize their awesome significance and strength as a peopleand community.
+HOMEWORKPost #23: Briefly consider one of ourprevious texts through one critical lens:New Criticism, Feminism, Marxism, orAfrican American Criticism. Focus on aparticular passage.Familiarize yourself with potentialtopics for essay #1