Hortense Spillers’ “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe,” written in , exists as a fundamental work in the discourse on race, gender, and the. Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book. Hortense J. Spillers. Diacritics, Vol. 17, No. 2, Culture and Countermemory: The. In conversation with the seminal article of Hortense Spillers, Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book, Wilderson explains that, for him.

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That is, it reduces the Slave to an object. Both male and female slaves served the same purpose–as property or animals rather than people. Inas the whites-only Miss America Pageant was being held, two warring protests were making two very divergent statements against the Miss America Pageant.

This entry was posted in Sipllers. These women have gone through very traumatic experiences, but they have stuck together. On the other hand, the NAACP, in protesting the racist exclusion of Miss America, did not acknowledge the ways in which a beauty pageant run mostly by men continued to objectify black women. It seems we may too hastily disregard the possibility yortense distinction for three reasons, described loosely as outlined by Spillers: The report’s relation between black men and black women leads to an ungendering of both spillerz, as black sexes become interchangeable rather than distinct.

Next Post Research Update: To proceed with Spillers argument means not taking for granted concepts like American as being fixed, but being willing to think critically about how identities are formed through complex articulations of power and meaning. In my view, black political thought lags here, unable to describe its condition uortense relegating the particularities of the female black to the abyss.

This begs the question, what does a genderless black subject help us to understand that a more complicated rendering [or gendering] of the black subject would obscure? Moreover, it seems the black female labors in service of civil society in ways we have yet to fully understand.


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Reflections on Hortense Spillers: “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe”

However, when Wilderson addresses blackness and gender, specifically gender ontology and the reification of gender, Spilkers absence is haunting. Revisiting “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe”: One must hortese all the way back to the introduction of chattel slavery and the construction of womanhood writ large.

I do understand different points that she makes, but I think the dense language and just all the different topics she raises makes it difficult for me to understand all of her main points.

Essays on African-American literature. You are commenting using your Twitter account. The black subject, to achieve success in a white-centered culture, must adapt a patriarchy in order to do so, at least that is the argument that suffocates black females from taking part in any power structure.

Through the Hotrense slave trade, Spillers rethinks racial formation, by thinking of ethnicities in terms of dispossession and the slave trade. This site uses cookies. April 16, at Illuminating the Grammar of Poetry and the Poetry of Grammar.

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But a structural analysis would include a discussion of historical context, relations to power and positionality, with an understanding of the black as positioned through the violence of captivity. In retrospect, the work of Frank Wilderson, III also appeared at a very critical moment in naby development, both as a thinker and as a spillfrs woman engaged in organizing around issues affecting the black community on campus as well as back home.

Find it on Scholar. While this translates to contemporary black families at times, it does not define all families nor does it limit the capacities of the mother in her potential role as matriarch. The violence against the black community is spilpers in violence against black women, and violence against black women includes violence against the community.


Spillers also emphasizes in her work the sexualization of black bodies. Notify me of new comments via email. Help Horense Find new research papers in: You are commenting using your Twitter account. To her, “gendering” took place within domesticity, which gained power through cultural fictions of “the specificity of proper names” This page was last edited on 15 Decemberat Email required Address never made public. David Morley – – Continuum. Notify me of new comments via email.

Spillers was writing to a moment in history where the importance of black women in critical theory was being denied. Overall, Spillers aims to draw connections between the structures of the black family that were created hortenxe slavery, spiolers the ways in which they have manifested into contemporary familial phenomenons.

Mama’s Baby & the Black Gender Problematic | Asia Hodges –

Encyclopedia of Feminist Literary Theory. Giorgio Sandri – – In D. History of Western Philosophy. Initially, the brutality of the action is overwhelming, zpillers how someone can be led to this quite unfathomable.

Analytic Philosophy and the Question of Tolerance. Oftentimes the mother is the head of the household.

Kopelman – – Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 4: Moynihan observes the behavior of the black family and concludes that it is a manifestation of the backwardness of blackness generally, and the pathology of black women in particular.

In a interview entitled, “Whatcha Gonna Do? You are commenting using your Facebook account. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Previous Post Research Update: This is not to say that afropessimism does not hold the potential to speak to the effect of antiblackness on gender.

African American Literary Theory.