“my pen is a machete”: The Black Arts Movement as a Creative Encyclopedia of Poetic and Erotic Maroonage.
Seeman, Anna R.
- Maroonage is embodied through the Black Arts Movement, a concentrated revolutionary uprising of Black revolutionary intellectuals, artists, and other figures who called for the uprooting of backwards, institutionalized, white male bourgeois supremacism. First, I briefly outline the history of maroonage as physical revolt and an ideological revolution. Both maroonage and the Black Arts Movement, as ... read morethe antithesis of western conventions of knowledge, defy commonly conceived notions of time and geographic space. Then, I investigate how, through poetic maroonage, which is similar to Cooper’s verbal maroonage/deliberate politics of manipulated language, The Black Arts Movement emphasized and embodied the essentiality of orality and performance in overturning the ideas and institutions of the western, bourgeois, white, male superiority complex. I then explore Carolyn Cooper’s notion of erotic maroonage, the idea that what is often misconstrued as vulgarity or “slackness” is, in fact, a source of “subversive freedom in the condition of marginality” (Cooper 1995, 7). I incorporate Ifi Amadiume’s complex redefinition of “matriarchy” in examining how many Black Arts poets employed erotic maroonage to further a grassroots Black nationalism as opposed to a “respectable” bourgeois Black nationalism. All forms of maroonage are in fact powerful political tools that destabilize the very foundations of neo-colonial systems of white, western domination.read less