The C.O.W.S. Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby Part 2

Thursday, September 5th 8:00PM Eastern/ 5:00PM Pacific

The Context of White Supremacy hosts the debut study session on the late Toni Morrison’s 1981 novel, Tar Baby. The first black female to win the Nobel Prize for literature, Morrison, an Ohio native, passed away this summer at the age of 88. In edition to editing a number of black texts and compiling an awesome body of written work, Morrison encouraged other black females and males to write – including Dr. Angela Davis. The C.O.W.S. Book club read The Bluest Eye back in 2012. We’ll recognize her passing by returning to her work, this time to read Tar Baby. This novel is titled after the Uncle Remus character “Tar Baby.” The term has been used a racist slur applied specifically to black children. This fable becomes an important part of the narrative. During the first week’s session, we read about a strange black male lost at sea. He has no name and seems closer to a slave or escaped convict than free person. After a brief introduction to this fellow, we’re moved the Caribbean collection of black caretakers and rich Whites. The Street family uses their wealth to import foreign animal species, hire black help, and insist that Christmas is celebrated properly. We begin to learn about tragic arrangements early in the text; Jadine, a black female, contemplates whether her White beau, “Ryk” likes her or is just into black chics.

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