2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Black Nationalism from the Home Front: Creating a Space for the Expression of both the Black and Female Selves
Gemmicka F. Piper
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Bambara's claiming of opposing dual identities, both as a Black Nationalist and a Black Feminist, helps to give a face to African American women who were not only participating in the Black Nationalist Movement but were dissatisfied with the treatment of African American women resulting from Black Machismo politics. Situating Bambara in the literary legacy left in the wake of the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement, I focus on her incorporation of free agency and authenticity in her short story collection, Gorilla, My Love and in her novel, The Salt Eaters. Central to my paper is the notion that Bambara, simultaneously invoking the community prevalent in the 1940s in the Harlem Renaissance and critiquing the over-arching hyper-masculinist experience of blackness, unifies both the racial and gendered selves through her advocacy of Black Feminism as an offshoot of the Black Nationalist Movement.

Keywords: Bambara, feminism, black nationalism

Topic(s):African-American Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 48-4
Location: OP 2111
Time: 3:30

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