Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something Else to Be Re(a)d

Reposted from Having Read the Fine Print

“having long ago realized they were neither white nor male…they went about creating something else to be.”

In this amazing course piece lex talks about Sula's role in the genesis of Black Feminist Literary Theory.

The above quote struck me hard.

I have read Sula about four times, and that quote didn't jump until I read that post by lex.

The idea of two colored girls creating something new to be, because the choices were white or female.

Which made me think heavily because historically , neither of those concepts were created without the body somewhere of a "colored girl".

If we talk about Feminism , we MUST talk about Seneca Falls which As BFP points out was based on the freedoms white women experienced and relayed back in NATIVE COMMUNITIES.

IF we talk about Victorian sexuality, hell Hottentot Venus, Arabian Odalesque, Slave girl, and mystic Asian woman.

While white women chaffe at these roles, or use them as ways to emphasize the need for their ascension into power structures etc etc


But Fuck it this is about me and Sylvia and I'm guessing most of you.

We get to be girls together.

One of the many numerous things that happens while I'm upset is I call my wife.

When I first got body rocked by this I called her.

She says when I'm sad I sound all of five years old.

I never was a little girl for long.

That's what happens when your brown, and grow boobs early , even if you don't have hips or your real ass until your 23

You see as little girls of color we don't get to be girls .

Yesterday was the first day of 16 days against sexual violence.

And while i am not physically assaulted , I know what's it's like to be grabbed , smacked , followed stalked

I knew that by 10.

Not a little girl

Sula ( and until a certain point Nel) do something amazing in the novel.

They will themselves into an entirely new existence.

While the phrase it as not being white or male , their is also this tacit unsaid rejection of we also will not be the things people expect of us for NOT being that.

To me it harkens back to Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. " A black woman is da mule oh da world"

They choose and Sula continues to choose not to be that.

Not to be the women in their community afraid of moist , to be the woman who fucks who she wants, who assumes her right to be what she wants

Sylvia and the rest of you but mostly Sylvia .

We get to be girls together.

I thik why i got real full out mad , and I claim it by the time Samhita got to Sylvia's old blog I was about to call everybody and they kinfolk some things that still curdle my OWN ears

was me and SYlvia

are a lot a like .

We're black girls, and yes I am NOW 23 so if you can do math when i was getting my ass rocked I was 22 and Sylvia was 21.

How many black girls you know graduate at 20 and write her prose, how many black girls you know get the world the way she does, lives the life she does , deals with her shit, writes amazing legal theory


How many?

You know what it's like to be a black girl genius?

You know what it's like to be a black girl in a hard family?

I do.

And on our blogs we created we got to be girls together.

And we were getting DONE IN

for daring to create a space where we could speak and be as black girls.

Something little white girls rarely think TWICE about.

We don't get books telling us t hat our foibles and mishaps won't lead to devastating consequences, we get the " SHUT YOUR DAMN LEGS".

We don't get the your life is worthy even as every single confessional in a women's studies class is honored. We get pitted against each other to prove somebody else's point with our blood.

We don't get to say I am woman hear me roar" . We say I am woman , dear god I Hope you find my sister today"

This exploration this imagination that is assured white girls DOESN'T happen for us.

But we were making it in with our fingers , our words, we had carved out little spaces to be girls.

to like boys, to wonder, to make our words matter

and now ( and agin it's being tried) people tried to RIP that from us so that we could assure someone else's girl(s) that if it was okay to them

We'd be sacrificed again and it wouldn't ride their conscious.

Not for my Sylvia.

We get to be girls together.

We get it if we have to make it.

And for those of you who don't understand.

Take two twenty year olds, pushed by police violence,sexual violence, make them smart, unbelievably so, make them honest and caring, make them beautiful.

Make them willing to try .

Make them care about the world

Make them willing to show you their growth.
Reposted from

What do you give them, how od show them the world , how do you help them grow?

What words do you give them.

How do you handle them showing preternatural intelligence.

What color were they?

DO they get to be girls?

Well then,


1 comment:

Luscious Librarian said...

Wow, I have to pick Sula up again. At first read I didn't get it and that maybe because I wasn't ready to get it.