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February General Track

Luster

The life of twenty-something Edie will be familiar to many people. She is living in a big city (New York). Her neighborhood (Bushwick) isn’t the best; nor is the apartment that she rents. When we meet her, she is working a low paying job in publishing—until she gets laid off. She has dated around some. On the other hand, she is now in a relationship with an older man, Eric, who is in an open marriage with his wife, Rebecca. Eric and Rebecca are white, but they have an adopted Black daughter who is twelve. When Rebecca invites Edie (also Black) to stay at their home, things have become much less familiar. It’s rare these days to come across a book and a style that’s really different, but Raven Leilani’s Luster is exciting, surprising, sometimes sad, at times awkward, even shocking. And it’s also funny. 

Author

Raven Leilani

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Curated by a cohort of graduate level of Black women researchers.

Winter 2020 Exploration Track

Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe

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.
 
This is an essay that is included in the SBG syllabus. 

Author

Hortense Spiller

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