Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bellocq's Ophelia

Hello Everyone! I thought I would lend a change of pace to this blog by including some of what I’m reading.  I just finished reading an amazing little collection of poetry called Bellocq’s Ophelia by Natasha Tretheway (She also won 2007 Pulitzer for Poetry for Native Guard) a winner of the 1999 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and published by Greywolf Press
. Bellocq’s Ophelia is a journey into the rarely discussed world of the “Colored” brothels of New Orleans.  The exotic nature given to the ivory skinned African women by white culture combined with the conflict of being trapped between two worlds is explored to surprising depth in these brief pages.  You do not leave this slim volume of poetry without wanting to know more about the world describe in its pages.  It is truly titillating.  You want to know more about the lives of these women, you want to know about the lives of the men who visit them.  You want to know more about the world that would keep them in a state where they are enslaved, not by their skin tone but by the skin tone of their grandmothers. I was left wondering about how many ways in today’s world, African-American women are still forced to make choices based on the perceptions of others instead of the strength of their spirit and the power of their intellect. 

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