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Visionary Women Writers of Chicago's Black Arts Movement$
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Carmen L. Phelps

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617036804

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617036804.001.0001

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Muddying Clear Waters

Muddying Clear Waters

Carolyn Rodgers’s Black Art

(p.95) Chapter Four Muddying Clear Waters
Visionary Women Writers of Chicago's Black Arts Movement

Carmen L. Phelps

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses Carolyn Rodgers’s poetic works in her poetry collections, including Paper Soul (1968) and Songs of a Black Bird (1969). It explains that Rodgers’ poetry showed that the concept of Black Art was not a “fixed” one, but rather, something that varies and changes its form, function, and meaning with each piece of work produced by African American artists. In her first poetic works, Rodgers pointed out that the goal of defining the role of the Black Arts writer continued to be an essential preoccupation for self-acclaimed Black Arts Movement participants, as the movement wanted writers to position themselves within unwavering spaces of political expression and cultural representation.

Keywords:   poetry, political expression, cultural representation, Black Arts Movement, Carolyn Rodgers, Paper Soul, Songs of a Black Bird, African American artists

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