The Satisfactions of what's Difficult in Gwendolyn Brooks's Poetry
01 Dec 1990-American Literature-Vol. 62, Iss: 4, pp 606
TL;DR: For other critics, the real bone of contention has been the fact that, despite her efforts to forge a black aesthetic, Brooks has practiced a poetics indebted as much to T. S. Eliot as to Langston Hughes (though brought to bear on black subject matter) as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: For other critics, the real bone of contention has been the fact that, despite her efforts to forge a black aesthetic, Brooks has practiced a poetics indebted as much to T. S. Eliot as to Langston Hughes (though brought to bear on black subject matter). This white style/black content debate can be heard clearly in Houston A. Baker's Singers of Daybreak: "Mrs. Brooks," says Baker, "writes tense, complex, rhythmic verse that contains the metaphysical complexities of John Donne and the word magic of Apollinaire, Pound, and Eliot." Yet this style is employed "to explicate the condition of the black American trapped behind a veil that separates him from the white world. What one seems to have is 'white' style and 'black' content-two warring ideals in one dark body."2
TL;DR: Brooks as discussed by the authors argued that shrieking into the steady and organized deafness of the white ear was frivolous and perilously innocent; it was ‘no count.’
Abstract: . . . NOW the address must be to blacks; that shrieking into the steady and organized deafness of the white ear was frivolous—perilously innocent; was ‘no count.’ There were things to be said to black brothers and sisters and these things—annunciatory, curative, and inspiriting—were to be said forthwith, without frill, and without fear of the white presence. —Gwendolyn Brooks, A Capsule Course in Black Poetry Writing (4)
01 Jan 2016
••01 Jan 2018
TL;DR: The United Kingdom's 23 June 2016 Brexit referendum very clearly demonstrated that intolerance is always ready to erupt and substitute the multiple voices comprising a democracy for the strident voice of fear as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: As reported widely (e.g., Belloni 2016; Chlaikhy 2016; Dodd 2016; Nebehay and Balmforth 2016), the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) 23 June 2016 Brexit referendum very clearly demonstrated that intolerance is always ready to erupt and substitute the multiple voices comprising a democracy for the strident voice of fear. The UK’s vote to exit the European Union not only unleashed political backlash and violence—thereby amplifying responses to the migration crisis in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, and Poland, among other countries—it also functioned as a green light to accelerate racist and xenophobic brutality (e.g., Chakrabortty 2016). Such vehement reclaiming of “traditionally English” values (e.g., Moore 2016; Williams and Fishwick 2016) surprised many. That it did surprise may be a hopeful sign. Yet, such surprise additionally demonstrates that, contrary to hopeful expectations, the ideals of diversity and inclusion cannot simply be translated into well-meaning rules or laws and be expected to flourish. Indeed, as recorded in daily news items reporting on 2016’s vituperative US presidential election, Donald Trump’s anti-immigration stance (e.g., Nowicki 2015), his fueling of racist sentiment (e.g., Henderson 2016), his sexism (e.g., Bennetts 2016), his lowering of civil and fact-based discourse possibly beyond that of any campaign in recent memory (e.g., Zurcher 2016), and both campaigns’ pandering to the rich (e.g., Confessore et al. 2015) have spawned a panoply of responses, including at universities. Thus, on the one hand, thoughtless racist and sexist remarks among students proliferate (e.g., Dreid and Najmabadi 2016) and, on the other hand, push-back responses, such as the enlightened call for sanctuary cities and universities are finding voice (e.g., LoBianco 2016; Shoichet and Ansari 2016). The tendency to close ranks in a climate of aggression suggests that negative reactions to rules or laws are continuously boiling just beneath the surface, and no measure of rhetorical or legal appeal to the greater good alone can quell such aggression and fear of “the other.”