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Translating Black Resistance: Historical and Contemporary Challenges
“My ebony skin…is my naked soul; my skin is language, and the reading is all yours.” The lyrics’ excerpt authored by Afro-Brazilian artists Matumbi and Portugal eloquently convey/denounce how Black skin and the Black body may function as a canvas upon which multiple meanings are imposed or assigned/prescribed: as embattled territories constantly subjected to multiple (mis)interpretations. Conversely, Black skin/bodies become sites of resistance, expressing/becoming potent languages through which oppressive systems are challenged, and powerful anti-racist struggles/movements crafted/expressed or performed/reinvented. How have verbal and non-verbal communications functioned as core aspect of Afro-Diasporic confrontational praxis to intersecting racialized/gendered oppressions and annihilation? How may we challenge Eurocentric bodies of knowledge as a key component in political projects of Black erasures? The course will explore such issues by placing the politics of language, translation/interpretation, ideology, and identity at the center of historical and contemporary movements of resistance against deadly manifestations of anti-black racism and gendered/homophobic violence(s). We will engage with such collective Black resistance responses by analyzing music, film, poetry and other Black art forms in Latin America, and particularly Brazil, and we shall examine authors including Conceição Evaristo, Angela Y. Davis, Patricia Hill Collins, Joelzito Araújo, Paul Bandia, Brent Edwards, Lazzo Matumbi, and Randal Johnson.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
class participation; three two-page response papers; midterm exam; and a 10 to 12- page final paper.
Africana Studies concentrators