116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

African American Literature I

Session Chair: 
Jerry Rafiki Jenkins, Palomar College
Session 6: Saturday 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Miller Hall 17


  1. Zoe Ballering, Western Washington University
    In accordance with abolitionist discourse of the 1840s and 1850s, the slave narratives of Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass both deploy Patrick Henry’s famous exclamation—“Give me liberty, or give me death!”—to crown moments of resistance. But while Douglass portrays himself as a self-made revolutionary fighting to close the gap between rhetoric and reality, I argue that Jacobs uses the quote to reassess whether revolutionary rhetoric can ever encompass the circumstances of Black women.
  2. Leann Christopherson, San Francisco State University
    Explores Toni Morrison's use of a light-skinned black female protagonist to demonstrate how European femininity affects black women while simultaneously portraying the ways that European women perpetuate racist power structures through the ways that they judge, criticize, and demonize black sexuality. Demonstrates the traumatic effects of this parasitic relationship, and communicates the specific set of challenges that light-skinned women of color face.
  3. Sidney Jones, The Ohio State University
    This paper examines the use of black female voice as a means of resistance in Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals (1980) and Mari Danquah’s Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey through Depression (1998). These works show how weaponized black pain can disrupt the white-dominated space of medicine.
Session Cancelled: