Joycelyn Moody University of TexasSan Antonio abrielle Foreman's "Riff " and its invocation of 1990s "Calls" by Barbara Christian, Ann duCille, and Nellie McKay echo Frances Smith Foster's essay "The Personal Is Political, the Past Has Potential, and Other Thoughts on Studying Women's Literature--Then and Now." For in Foster's and Foreman's respective essays, the earlier black feminist directives function in precisely the same ways, validating for Foreman in 2013 what Foster observed in 2007: "we have both changed a lot and not changed enough" (Foster 36). The resonance fills me with sadness and frustration as it signals that too few people heeded Foster, as was the case with Christian, duCille, McKay, and the bold, often disremembered, eponymous "we" of Dorothy Sterling's We Are Your Sisters. I wonder whether Foreman's "Riff " and our "Responses" will matter any more than the alarms we raise(d) as long as a different, "abrading collective `we'" (Foreman 307) remains ambivalent about their desire for racial diversity.1 I encounter institutional ambivalence about diversity on two divergent fronts. On one, I am regularly asked to help departments in predominantly white institutions (pwis) identify "good" (read: of African descent) scholars who might be urged to apply
Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 4, 2014
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