Book CFP: Reflections on the N-Word: Black Females Speak
Call for Papers Date:
FP Deadline: November 1, 2008.
Purpose of Project
Through writing and visual art, this project will help to give voice to the Black identified females who want to express their perceptions of, experiences with, and concerns about, the word “nigger”.
Theoretical Framework and Influences
bell hooks' black looks , Tim Wise , Audre Lorde's Sister Outsider , Maya Angelou's powerful keynote speech at the Rhinebeck NY Women and Power Conference of September 2005, and James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and my interests in Critical Race Feminist Theory have been my primary motivators for this project. I also draw from Michel Foucault's theories on power and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I must thank Maya Angelou for her encouragement and inspiration. At the September conference, with engaging passion, she recited Countee Cullen's Poem, “Nigger” , and from there, the initial concept of this project was born.
The first time I remembered being called a “nigger”, I was the age of twelve. Though it took me more than a decade to fully articulate my experience of that day, it had always astounded me how much rage and fear that word had instilled in me. It wasn't until fifteen years later that I began to understand how profoundly emotional and often traumatic that this one word has been to a majority of Black identified people who have been survivors of it, including myself. It was through reading bell hooks, June Jordan, W.E.B. DuBois, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin and other "resisters of oppression" as well the expression of fiction book writing that I was able to explore my emotions as well as my understanding of my social status as a Black female in a country in which institutionalized sexism, heterosexism, classism and racism is embedded in the institutions and policies of the status quo. It was in the pages of bell hooks that I first ran across her critical consciousness paradigm, inspired by her mentor, Paulo Freire. Through this practice, I was able to understand my relationship with race, class, sexuality, and gender status within a United States steal healing (and in denial) about its sordid history of racialized oppression. Simultaneously, I also wanted to understand these systems of inequalities but not be solely defined or limited by them. I stopped thinking of my position as a "victim" and realized that I am a "survivor" capable of making positive change through the voicing of my experiences.
"I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood."
- Audre Lorde
"We are the ones we've been waiting for."
- Sweet Honey in the Rock
Black identified women and girls, come forth and share your experiences, critiques and reflections on “the n-word”.
Call for Papers/Materials!! Submit Your Voice
This is a call for narratives, poetry, photography, other types of visual art, and critical essays for a book anthology about Black identified females who want to :
* creatively convey their experience(s) of being called a n*gger
* Reflections on the word n*gga
* How experience with the n-word has affected your emotional and or physical health
* Share their experiences of when they had heard or seen the word even though it may not have been directed towards them.
* Explore how did being called the n-word as a child shaped your consciousness as an adult?
* Reflect on how you felt when you read the n-word in required school readings such as Huckleberry Finn and Grapes of Wrath.
* Analyze David Chappelle's use of the n-word in his comedy
* Share your reactions and feelings when hearing the n-word in a public space, such as in a movie theater by a character in the movie.
* Critique your experiences with the n-word or hearing it by a friend or family member.
* Teaching your child about the n-word.
* If you read Randall Kennedy's book, Nigger, or any other book with the n-word in it's title, what was it like for you?
* These topics are just for brainstorming purposes. The sky's the limit!
Who is invited to submit their voice :
All Black identified girls and women from all sexual orientations, educational levels, nationalities, countries, ages, etc. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include a bio at the end of you contribution, email and phone number.
Citation Style: MLA Bibliography
Document Format: 1” margins; 12 Point Font; Double spaced; Times New Roman
Word Processing Software: MS Word or Apple Pages is an acceptable document format. Please do not send PDFs.
About the editor: Amie Breeze Harper is a PhD student at the University of California, Davis, in the Geography Graduate Group. Her emphasis is understanding how critical race and feminist theories can be used to analyze the African Diasporic female experience within alternative spaces of nutrition and wellness (i.e.: veganism, vegetarianism, raw foodism, community gardens). She is the editor of the upcoming Lantern Books anthology, Sistah Vegan! Food, Identity, Society and Health: Female Vegans of the African Diaspora in the USA and the author the 2008 Arch Street Press novel, Scars.
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