Women's Voices of Protest: Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni's Poetry

Яковенко, Ірина (2020) Women's Voices of Protest: Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni's Poetry Вісник Маріупольського державного університету. Серія: Філологія, 23. pp. 130-139. ISSN 2415-3168; 2226-3055

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The paper explores contemporary African American women’s protest poetry in the light of the liberation movements of the mid-20th century – Black Power, Black Arts Movement, Second Wave Feminism. The research focuses on political, social, cultural and aesthetic aspects of the Black women’s resistance poetry, its spirited dialogue with the feminist struggle, and undertakes its critical interpretation using the methodological tools of Cultural Studies. The poetics and style of protest poetry by Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni, whose literary works have received little scholarly attention literary studies in Ukraine, are analyzed. Protest poetry is defined as politically and socially engaged verse which is oppositional, contestatory and resistant in its subject matter, as well as in the form of (re)presentation. Focusing on political and societal issues, such as slavery, racism, segregation, gender inequality, African American protest poetry is characterized by discourse of resistance and confrontation, disruption of standard English grammar, as well as conventional spelling and syntax. It is argued that militant poems of Sonia Sanchez are marked by the imitations of black speech rhythms and musical patterns of jazz and blues. Similarly, Nikki Giovanni relies on the oral tradition of African American people while creating poetry which was oriented towards performance. The linguistic content of Sanchez and Giovanni’s verses is lowercase lettering for notions associated with “white america”, obscenities targeted at societal racist practices, and erratic capitalization, nonstandard spacing, onomatopoeic syllables, use of vernacular as markers of Black culture. The works of African American women writers, which are under analysis in the essay, constitute creative poetic responses to traumatic history of African American people. Protest poetry of Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni explicitly express the rhetoric of Black nationalism and comply with the aesthetic principles of the Black Arts movement. They are perceived as consciousness-raising texts by their creators and the audiences they are addressed to. It is argued that although protest and resistance poetry is time- and context-bound, it can transcend the boundaries of historical contexts and act as timeless texts. Key words: African American literature, protest poetry, the Black Arts movement, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: афро-американська література, протестна поезія, Рух за Чорне мистецтво, Соня Санчес, Ніккі Джованні.
Subjects: Статті у журналах > Фахові (входять до переліку фахових, затверджений МОН)
Divisions: Це архівні підрозділи > Кафедра англійської філології та перекладу
Depositing User: Ірина Василівна Яковенко
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2021 15:07
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2021 15:07
URI: https://elibrary.kubg.edu.ua/id/eprint/34223

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