Ethos, Resilience, and Democratic Struggle in the Markets of the Americas jose-antonio orosco Oregon State University we are called together in indianapolis, under the shadow of the poet Mari Evans, to reflect on the influence and constraints of place, and the transformative and liberatory power of imagination. In her essay, “Ethos and Creativity,” Evans looks back on a lifetime spent in Indianapolis. She shares her experiences of uplifting and revelatory art performances, alongside a multitude of spirit-numbing indignities as a result of anti-black racism. The metaphor she chooses to elicit the experience of this racism is that of steel thread encased in luxurious fabric. No matter the beauty and exhilaration of the city, its character has been shaped and framed by an inflexible cord that tethers it to a legacy of white supremacy and black death. Yet Evans own poetry is an example of the imaginative mind that builds alternative paths forward through the pain and anguish, using creativity to transform trauma into agency. She writes: “I am a black woman / tall as a cypress / strong / beyond all definition still / defying place / and time / and circumstance.” Her imagery here is telling; cypress trees
The Pluralist – University of Illinois Press
Published: Mar 13, 2019
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