Friday, March 13, 2009

Isn't the Hope in the How?

"How was the creativity of the Black woman kept alive, year after year and century after century, when for most of the years Black people have been in America, it was a punishable crime for a Black person to read or write?"

asks Alice Walker in her essay "In Search of Our Mother's Gardens"

"Today I cut up your classic essay 'In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens.' I downloaded it from the Internet, copied it to my computer, and deleted about half of it. Then I printed it out and gave it to my students. I'm sorry. I should have given my students every word you wrote, the way you wrote it. The version my students read had no mention of Africa, slavery, sex, or racism, which eliminates most of the force of the work. . . . I teach in a small, three-year-old university in a small town in Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula, and there are topics I cannot discuss. I am making a compromise because I can't teach your essay as you wrote it."

explains Marielle Risse in a letter to Alice Walker from the university in Oman, where it is punishable for "a Western, female professor. . . to introduce controversial matters."


J. L. Watts said...

Does this mean that you are back?

J. K. Gayle said...

Hope we're both, at least, challenged to look through others' eyes, J.L.

J. L. Watts said...

I try to, although it is not always successful - Joel (Polycarp)