Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 103 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Preface

• Marie Cardinal's book, The Words to Say It, appealed to Toni Morrison in 1983 because of the title.
• Black people are seen as markers for many dichotomies including benevolent and wicked, spiritual and voluptuous, sinful but enticing, and purity and restraint.
• Morrison does not view blackness or black people as stimulating notions of complete dread, anarchy, or love.
• Morrison is vulnerable in that she is likely to romanticize blackness.
• Morrison considers literary whiteness and blackness and the consequences of these constructions.
• Morrison wrote Playing in the Dark based on lectures given at Harvard by William Massey.

Chapter 1: Black Matters

• Morrison considers how free she can be as a black woman writer in a world that is genderized, sexualized, and racialized.
• Africanism is the term used to refer to the blackness that the African people have come to signify, especially in reference to American literature.
• Morrison asserts that Africanism...

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