The C.O.W.S. Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby Part 3

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

The Context of White Supremacy hosts the third 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. The novel is named 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 last week’s session we got additional information about the White family on the Caribbean island, the Streets. Mr. Street is more than 20 years his wife’s senior and is retired from a Philadelphia candy empire. Morrison spends a good deal of time describing their most famous chocolate candies, “Teddy Boys,” in comparison the “faggoty” candies made to honor Mr. Street. Mrs. Margaret Street is anxious for the return of her adult son, but it seems she was a negligent mother to her young son, who not functions as though he does not need his parents. The unnamed black male stowaway from the opening of the text was found trespassing in the Streets’ residents. After holding the intruder under the barrel of a gun, Mr. Street invites him for dinner.

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