The Importance of Expression

Throughout this course, we have experienced Baldwin in an open format. We have learned about his life, his struggles, and his work. Without this class though, I would have never know about him. While reading about him, I was able to see how he expresses himself. His books hold a certain sadness in them about family and identity. The source of searching for himself through his work, as well as reading other works and commenting on them. I think that is why I though of Baldwin while reading Lorde.

Reading about how Lorde writes that racism should be responded to with anger, I have to think about the stereotype of ‘Angry Black Women’. In a course I took, Intro to Africana Studies, I wrote about stereotypes that black women typically hold. One of which was the ‘angry black woman’, which tends to go back to times of slavery when they were reinforced in the media. Expression is important as Lorde states by saying ‘Anger is loaded with information and energy.’  Anger is one of the most important emotions because of the fact that there are unresolved things and anger is often the way that people are most likely to see and hear you as a person. I like the sentiment that women of color are more than just their anger, yet their anger is a way of survival, not purely an emotion. It is a way to express themselves. It is also key that everyone shows this anger though, not just women of color, but white women must also stand up and own what they do and say through anger for their gender. Because one race can not start a movement, but a whole gender can. People do not want white women to talk about racism, but it is key in being able to have an open dialogue. Understanding is what is important in being able to take a stand and find understanding between people, and with understanding may come a solution.