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Join us for an Scholar Chat with Dr. Norell Edwards as we discuss Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Hortense Spillers’ Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe.
April 14th at 6pm EST
Book of the Month
Join our General Track discussions and author chats for this great read in the month of April!
Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.”
Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves―now protective, now hedonistic―move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.
Narrated from the perspective of the various selves within Ada, and based in the author’s realities, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and mental health, plunging the reader into the mystery of being and self.
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Curate your own reading circles with our syllabi!
Curated by a cohort of graduate level of Black women researchers.
Thru April 2021
Join our Exploration Track discussions, as we delve into an essay that explores how our language demeans Black women.
Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe
Dr. hortense Spillers
In “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe,” Hortense Spillers offers a complex and thoughtful analysis of how the American grammar (symbolic system) insistently marks black females’ flesh with a series of meanings that profoundly complicate their gendering. The dynamics that cause these tensions began with the transatlantic slave trade and the disruption of the familial bonds of black people.