Contemporary Black Women Writers (Literature Elective; US)

Spring; Grades 11–12 

Chimamanda Adichie writes, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” This course dismantles the single story of Black women that has been told across the ages in our music, our media, and, especially, in our literature. Students explore written work exclusively by Black women authors featuring Black female protagonists. To be clear: the use of the words woman and female in this course refer to anyone who identifies with girlhood or womanhood, whether biologically assigned, cisgender, or transgender. 

Rooted in writing theory from Toni Morrison and bell hooks, students explore what it means to be a Black woman in this country and how Black women authors seek to convey the truth of Black women’s twenty-first century experience. Themes include: the Black woman’s body, faith and formations, queerness and transness, family ties, Black protectionism, and Black Girl Magic. Students engage in vibrant discussion and complete short analytical writings and a culminating project—a short story, a television episode, or a chapter of a longer work that centers a Black woman’s intersectional experience. 

Acevedo, The Poet X
Braithwaite, My Sister, The Serial Killer
Jones, An American Marriage
McMillan, Thick

Summer Reading:
Evans, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool


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