SUNY Albany Woman Poem by Nikki Giovanni Discussion

SUNY Albany Woman Poem by Nikki Giovanni Discussion

Discussion for “Woman Poem” by Nikki Giovanni

“Woman Poem” is filled with stereotypical black women tropes. If you follow the poem stanza by stanza you can unpack the unhappy tone where the poet narrator is struggling with body image, sexuality, love, employment, relationships, and familial bonds. Can you read the poem against the discriminating societal structure of patriarchy and relate it to the broader context of America during the late ’60s?

Can you comment on the syntactical choices the poet made for this poem? How do you see the use of language as a means of subverting the standards of the English language? Also, what does this kind of linguistic subversion do to the reading of the poem where a woman is trying to find her Self-hood?

Discussion for “Poem” and “Black Woman as a Woman” by Lindsey Kay

In the poem, “Poem”, the poet attempts to re-define woman’s responsibility, role, and purpose in a society that is struggling for racial justice. How do you read these re-imagined possibilities of the woman’s role and her contribution to the revolutionary politics of Martin Luther King?

The essay “Black Woman as a Woman” highlights the importance of the female voice in the black liberation movements because “the Black movement is primarily concerned with the liberation of Blacks as a class and does not promote women’s liberation as a priority” (103). Find out the arguments that Kay presents to the readers regarding the black woman’s struggle in fighting white institutions and black patriarchy. Also, comment on how you find these struggles still reflected in our contemporary social politics.

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