114th Annual Conference - Pasadena, California
Friday, November 11 - Sunday, November 13, 2016

African American Literature I

Session Chair: 
Jerry Rafiki Jenkins, Palomar College
San Rafael


  1. Destiny Crockett, Princeton University
    Gwendolyn Brooks’ pre-1967 literary career has been deemed racially ambivalent by activists of the time and contemporary scholars, yet close readings of her 1960 collection, The Bean Eaters, and archival materials reveal that Gwendolyn Brooks’ poetry helped lay the groundwork for “Black Power,” prior to Stokley Carmichael’s call in 1966.
  2. Raquel Kennon, California State University, Northridge
    This paper explores the fascinating scene in Act II of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A Raisin in the Sun (1959) when Beneatha Younger dramatically cuts her hair chemically relaxed hair and embraces her natural texture.  This paper examines Beneatha's two romantic prospects, Asagai and George, and argues that each represents her wrestling with the meaning of her African ancestry.
  3. D'Angelo Bridges, California State University, San Bernardino, Denisha Harris, California State University, San Bernardino
    Toni Morrison’s Sula remains a common piece of African American literature, and many scholars have done extensive research on Sula’s character as having a “lack of foundation, a structurelessness that affects every thought, every action and every interaction” she has (Galehouse 341). Ultimately, we posit that Sula establishes for readers a thwarted sense of the Electra complex.  In order for her to fulfill her sexual desires, she has to direct her sexual desires to her friends’ husbands.
  4. Nicole Corrigan, Independent Scholar
    The topic of this discussion will explore ekphrastic writing as an approach to recall, remember, re-member, and repair history. During the duration of this discussion, I will examine ekphrastic works of literature that have been constructed as a means of resuscitating the black female figure from historical erasure.
Session Cancelled: