The C.O.W.S. Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby Part 4

Thursday, September 19th 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 most of the house was focused on the unnamed black male guest who was found lurking in the Street house. Both White and black characters refer to the black male as a “wild” animal. It’s assumed that this black male intends to rape. While speaking with Jadine, he asks her if she had to have sex to advance on her job. This sparks a massive brawl where Jadine spits on him and strikes him until the black male subdues her. She threatens to tell White people. Mr. Street seems mostly amused with the black male’s presence – not in the least bit concerned about his wife being raped.

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