Within this project, the Healing Collective is engaging in a practice of articulating the work of Black women as vital ways of thinking and being. These works inherently speak to a relationality/conversation between Black women. These anthologies also speak to the multiple ways Black women have challenged “feminism” and advanced Black radical politics. The anthology, But Some of Us Are Brave (ed. Hull, Bell-Scott, and Smith), speaks to this intervention directly and shares a dearth of resources throughout the anthology (including a bibliography on Black Feminist Thought). We build on the creation of these central houses of information by providing anthologies that have advanced and broadened the work of these editors across the gender spectrum and across the African Diaspora.
In their work, The Black Female Body: A Photographic History, Deborah Willis and Carla Williams explore how Black female-identified bodies have been portrayed throughout the history of photography. Their work is integral in understanding the ways in which Black women have had limited autonomy over their own images. However, the artists in this collection seek to re-imagine images of, and for, Black women. Many of these artists explore lineage, gender, and landscape through multiple mediums. We ask that this section is not only filled with contemporary artists in conversation with larger social and political landscapes, but also students of color at Bennington who are still in the process of articulating their work.
Toni Tipton-Martin has done a significant amount of labor to archive the contributions of Black cooks to the U.S. food landscape in her book The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks. Much of her work highlights the labor of black women specifically in defining mechanisms and modes of cultural and physical survival through recipes (some of which have been recorded, others of which have not).
THE KITCHEN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ROOM IN MY HOME. TIS
THE PLACE FROM WHICH I DO MY THING.
I EAT IN THE KITCHEN.
WHEN FRIENDS DROP IN SOMETIMES WE NEVER LEAVE THE
I JUST DO EVERYTHING IN THE KITCHEN.
I WROTE THIS BOOK IN THE KITCHEN.
WHEN I SEW I SET UP THE SEWING MACHINE IN THE KITCHEN.
I IRON IN THE KITCHEN.
THE OTHER DAY I TRIED TO MOVE THE PIANO IN BUT COULDN’T
GET ANYONE TO HELP ME.
THE CHILDREN DO THEIR HOMEWORK IN THE KITCHEN.
SOMETIMES THERE IS SO MUCH HAPPENING IN THE KITCHEN
THAT I CAN’T GET TO THE STOVE TO COOK AND WE HAVE
TO CALL CHICKEN DELIGHT.
Highlighting a diverse array of Black women’s poetic voices shows our engagement with nature, history, and language itself through bodily experience, memory, and voice. These poets engage with multiple archives--account for/address gaps--bodily, textual, recorded, oral. The array of poets in this collection do not carry a singular aesthetic, but write survival and existence of multiple poetics within a history of not being seen as poets.
To date, there are no Black lesbian anthologies of poetry. Well-known Black lesbian poets include Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clarke, and Pat Parker. While this section readily recognizes poetic foremothers from the 1960s and 1970s, we also seek to provide openings for Black queer poets. Alexis Pauline Gumbs affirms these contributions in her collection of poetry, which draws heavily upon Hortense Spillers--a writer and essayist also included in this collection. Calling back to these poets helps us find ways to expand, challenge, and speak to these writings for ourselves.
Depending on your need, you can access our catalog in one of two different ways. If you are looking for physical items (books, DVDs, CDs, scores, etc.) accessible in either Crossett Library or Jennings Music Library, you can use the following search box. Alternatively, you can leave the box blank and click search for more search options, such as limiting your search by material type (for example, books or DVDs), by location (Crossett only, nothing from Jennings Music Library) or by language.
You can search more broadly, using the following search box below. This search uses Ebsco Discovery Services, and contains all the physical items in our library, as well as all journals and articles that we receive through our various databases. This is a much more broad and extensive search, and can be modified to search only full-text items, specific date ranges, languages, peer-reviewed, etc.
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