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Look at me! Look at my arm!
I have ploughed and planted
and gathered into barns, and
no man could head me!
And ain’t I a woman?
(Sojourner Truth 253)
From the moment we’re born, until the day we die, we’re undergoing transformations. That’s the beauty of life. And as novelist & activist Toni Cade Bambara once stated, “Writing is one of the ways I participate in transformation.”
Transformative writing is writing that changes you in the process of its creation, and the focus of this class will be to transform how we write and think about our bodies. So often, as Black women, our bodies are overtly sexualized, objectified, marginalized, judged, and ultimately feared.
Transformational Writing: (re)Writing the Black Woman’s Body seeks to begin the tough work of attempting to transcend this traumatic rhetoric in order to begin the process of renewing and healing how we think and write about our bodies.
Throughout this course, we will explore the craft of storytelling via text from Black writers such as Niya Marie, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Roxane Gay, and others, focusing on topics such as weight, skin color, hair, illness, disease, aging, and the concept of beauty itself. Our goal will be to reflect upon our own personal relationships with our bodies surrounding these topics, and turn these experiences into fodder for creative non-fiction writing.
With a focus on skills such as characterization, setting, description, scene, & dialogue, we’ll end each class with a generative prompt, which will allow us to begin exploring these skills in class and continue that exploration on our own.
All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.
Amani-Nzinga Jabbar is the author of the novel I Bear Witness. She has also published several essays, articles, and short stories. Her work has appeared in midnight & indigo, Halal Consumer, Muslim Girl, & Azizah Magazine among others. She is a Lecturer of English in Atlanta, and teaches courses in expository writing, comparative literature, and creative writing. A marathoner & mother 3, she believes that words have the power to transform.