Bourbon at the Border dramaturgical research

IV.  Pearl on Pearl

Cleage explains her purpose for writing in the introduction to Mad at Miles: “I am writing to expose and explore the point where racism and sexism meet. I am writing to help understand the full effects of being black and female in a culture that is both racist and sexist. I am writing to try and communicate that information to my sisters first and then to any brothers of good will and honest intent who will take the time to listen. . . . I am writing to allow myself to feel the anger. I am writing to keep from running toward it or away from it or into anybody’s arms. . . . I am writing, writing, writing, for my life.”

As a writer, I am always looking for common references in order to communicate with readers. I find that the popular culture creates a body of information that we can use to think about things even if that was not the intention of the piece in question. From an interview August 10, 2001 regarding I Wish I Had a Red Dress

She cites the rhythms of black life as her muse.

From her Web site (

Imagine it is dinnertime.  Imagine we are sitting around a campfire.  Imagine we are ancient, magical women who live in peace with all creatures, so that just beyond our cooking cycle, the lions we keep around us as allies more than pets are yawning and setting their massive heads on their massive paws, while we confer and confess, conducting our business as ancient magical women often do, over steaming pots and sleeping children, a stone’s throw from the mysterious male creatures with whom we share our babies and our blood memories.  Imagine our business includes a culture and commerce and health care and technology and defense and diversions and endless discussions of what it means to fall in love and stay there.  Imagine there is a full moon.  Imagine there is peace and plenty and safety and spirit.  Imagine what language we might speak.  Imagine the sound of our laughter…..

I believe there is a special language we use to communicate around those campfires.  I call that language Sisterspeak, and that is what will be spoken here…..

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