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Hortense Spillers’ “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe,” written in , exists as a fundamental work in the discourse on race, gender, and the. Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book. Hortense J. Spillers. Diacritics, Vol. 17, No. 2, Culture and Countermemory: The. In conversation with the seminal article of Hortense Spillers, Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book, Wilderson explains that, for him.

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On the underside of this equation is the fact that Africans were caught in s;illers suspension, or a liminal, in-between space: Matriarchy does not destroy the black American family [8].

Reflections on Hortense Spillers: “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe” – The Liminal Space

The role reversal within black families–that the mother is the primary and present authority in the household and the fathers are absent, according to the report, deserves culpability for black familial babg. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: She wrote with a sense of urgency in order to create a theoretical taxonomy for black women to be studied in the academy.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. I think perhaps she was criticizing the idea that a family has to be a nuclear family in order to be an American family, but also showing something deeper.


In a interview entitled, “Whatcha Gonna Do? View all posts by ifgresearch. Motherhood, fatherhood, and gender differentiations can only be sustained in the taxonomy of subjects.

April 17, at Notify me of new comments via email. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Hortense Spiller’s Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: an American Grammar Book

To that extent, the procedures adopted for the captive flesh demarcate a total objectification, as the entire captive community becomes a living laboratory.

Eluned Summers-Bremner – – Hypatia 15 1: For Wilderson, there is a line of recognition and incorporation.

April 16, at Hamilton – – Journal of the American Oriental Society 1: Perhaps showing that though so often black families become matriarchal and there is a deep bond between women, men too have their own struggles to deal with? Waugh – – American Journal of Semiotics 2 3: You are commenting using your Twitter account.

The Hands and Feet of the Child: Moynihan links all of these ‘deficiencies’ in relation to typical conceptions of the American family with gortense breakdown of the black race, leading to an “increase in welfare dependency” [7]. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: An American Hkrtense Book”.

Hortense J. Spillers, Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book – PhilPapers

I think this idealized family structure is very much criticized in Beloved. In this report it is discussed that the families with stronger bonds “characteristically progress more rapidly than others”. The black subject, to achieve success in a white-centered culture, must adapt a patriarchy in order to do so, at least that is the argument that suffocates black females from taking part in any bby structure.


Spillers also emphasizes in her work the sexualization of black bodies. Strategies in Universal Grammar: This site uses cookies. D in English, Brandeis University On the other hand, the NAACP, in protesting the racist exclusion of Miss America, did not acknowledge the ways in which a beauty pageant run mostly by men continued to objectify black women.

Hortense Spillers

Previous Post Research Update: The Baby Doe Rules: In the nuclear family, the woman is meant to be weak and is supposed to depend on her husband, but Sethe is strong and independent. Duke University Press, Because the black is sensual being, they are consistently pushed into being the object to the white subject, and deprived of reason, must accept their being as property.

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