Ntozake shange essay

To women “of a certain age” – a euphemism the author of this book would surely abhor – the idea that Gloria Steinem is a revolutionary thinker, a wonderful writer and a practical activist is not, perhaps, news. (But there is something joyful in the rediscovery of same.) To those who didn’t know or don’t remember the Steinem story – founding Ms. Magazine, fighting for reproductive rights, waiting to marry until she was in her 60s! – it might be a revelation. Long before Sheryl Sandberg leaned in at work, Steinem was preaching the gospel of empowered women by, among other things, travelling the country and the world listening to people, gathering stories and insights, offering support of the intellectual and emotional kind. From the very first page – in which she dedicates her book to the British doctor who ended Steinem’s pregnancy, illegally, in 1957 – to the tales of a supposedly shy woman who admitted she wanted to nail their sloppy husband’s tossed-anywhere underwear to the floor, Steinem recounts a life well-travelled in every sense.

To best understand what is facing young women today, Peggy Orenstein’s “Girls and Sex” is required reading. This book explores the utter failure of American society to understand women’s sexuality at all . With zero discussion of reproductive rights, it is still clear from this book that women (and the men with whom they mate) need way more guidance if equality is ever to be a reality. The confused, objectified, ignored, Snapchatted 17- to 24-year-old women presented in this book don’t even get a decent orgasm from humanity’s most basic act, forget everything that comes after. And yet … Peggy offers some hope, too.

Those twin pressures can interfere in the work of trying to put one’s poetry forth. It doesn’t necessarily come into play when you are digging within to make a poem, but you hear the voices pretty quickly as a poem rises to the surface. This is a challenge—you might call it a burden—that is uniquely ours. But there are many vibrant schools of contemporary black poetry and I think this is a moment of great diversity, great shine. There are the renegade children of Baraka; the sonneteering sons and daughters of Brooks, pre-1968; Sister Sonia’s keening, righteous progeny; surrealist funkster Bob Kaufmanites; Robert Hayden’s solemn spawn; and even the “Phenomenal Women” born of “Poetic Justice” and “Love Jones.” 

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[1]Limit: 1000 words. Oh! Who are we? We edit Cicada, the finest YA lit/comics mag in the land! Relevant to our interests: literature, teens, literature about teens, SFF, feminist fairy tales, aliens, shapeshifters, ghosts, and witches Especially excited to hear from LGBTQIA+ writers, writers with disabilities, and writers of color. Bonus points if your story plays with form: a grocery list, a GoFundMe, a Twitter feed… (Listen, we never said we were good at brevity. We're not. That's where you come in.) SUBMITTTTTTTT!

Ntozake shange essay

ntozake shange essay

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[1]Limit: 1000 words. Oh! Who are we? We edit Cicada, the finest YA lit/comics mag in the land! Relevant to our interests: literature, teens, literature about teens, SFF, feminist fairy tales, aliens, shapeshifters, ghosts, and witches Especially excited to hear from LGBTQIA+ writers, writers with disabilities, and writers of color. Bonus points if your story plays with form: a grocery list, a GoFundMe, a Twitter feed… (Listen, we never said we were good at brevity. We're not. That's where you come in.) SUBMITTTTTTTT!

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