The C.O.W.S. Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby Part 7

Thursday, October 10th 8:00PM Eastern/ 5:00PM Pacific

The Context of White Supremacy hosts the seventh 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, died this summer at the age of 88. In edition to editing a number of black texts and compiling a gargantuan body of written work, Morrison encouraged other black females and males to write – including Dr. Angela Davis. The C.O.W.S. Book club examined The Bluest Eye 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. Last week’s session saw Son and Jadine exit the island for the metropolis of New York City. Morrison described “The Biggle Apple” as a “black woman’s town.” While Jadine devours the big city restaurants, sightseeing, and fashion, Son struggles to secure employment. He’s reduced to criminal activity and “brute work.” He wonders to himself how he would be able to support a family in such an environment. Back on the island, Margaret attempts to minimize her child abuse by telling Valerian that it wasn’t too bad and that it didn’t really hurt their son, Michael, long term.

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