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Discussion Sonia Sanchez and June Jordan

We continue our look at the Black Arts Movement. This week we are focusing more exclusively on female poets of the Black Arts Movement with Sonia Sanchez and June Jordan. Select one of the themes from the list below and give us your “reading” (meaning interpretation) of either one poem by Sonia Sanchez or one by June Jordan. For your examples of poems by Sanchez or Jordan, you are not limited to the poems from our reading this week in the anthology; if you want to go online and find a poem by Sonia Sanchez or June Jordan, may do so, or you may stick to the poems listed for our reading this week out of the anthology (you may do this either way). In your response, give us the title of the poem and poet; if it is in the anthology, give the page number for it, but if it is one you retrieved online then give us the link to the poem. I am excited to see your poem selections and how you read/interpret the poem’s meaning. I want you to think about and consider does the poem speak an element of “truth” that women can relate to? Specifically, how may the poem address women of color? Who is the poet speaking to in the poem? Is the poet herself speaking through the poem or has the poet constructed a persona (mask, image, character) to speak for others?

Here are the list of themes. Again, select one theme as your literary lens to “read” the poem through and to use to analyze/interpret the poem’s meaning.

Black Activism (Social Activism)
Women’s reproductive rights
Women and labor/work
Emotional loss or emotional trauma
Abuse or trauma
Women’s history
Women’s rights
Family History
The environment/Nature
Women as survivors, warriors, goddesses, powerful
Before you respond, I want  you to watch the videos placed here of Sonia Sanchez and June Jordan reading their own poetry. The poems they are reading may not be the poem you have selected to write about–and that is okay! But, I want you seeing, hearing how the poet sounds when the poet reads her own work! It is important to get a sense of the way the poet brings life and energy to her work!




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