Extract From Thesis: Archiving the Black Female Voice

“This led me to the following question: what are the current experiences of Black female writers that will allow us to critique their absence in publication justly? Taking into account their experiences and the spaces they occupy, whilst acknowledging that they vary, more specifically when it comes to their studentship or craftsmanship of theatre. Perhaps Black female playwrights motioning toward the central space Gqola speaks of, where the “creation of new language, new vision and new realities” (2012: 20), is what it means to be, as bell hooks states in her discussion with Mellisa Harris Perry, “in resistance as a Black woman writer” (hooks, 2013). One who actively positions herself to perform what hooks terms “emasculating the patriarchal voice” (hooks, 2013), and she does this by refusing to be silent and passive. By remaining silent, she perpetuates the cycle of absent Black female voices. That one cannot track a progressive development of Black female playwrights since Perkins’s anthology is alarming.”

©KP

Sweeping modifications in the canon are said to occur because of the changes in collective sensibility, but individual admissions and elevations from “minor” to “major” status tend to be achieved by successful critical promotion, which is to say, demonstration that a particular author does meet generally accepted criteria of excellence

Robinson, L.S

[Treason Our Text: feminist Challenges To The Literary Canon. (1985)]

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