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Building Womanist CoalitionsWriting and Teaching in the Spirit of Love$
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Gary L. Lemons

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042423

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

“I Come from a Dream Deferred”

“I Come from a Dream Deferred”

(p.208) 12 “I Come from a Dream Deferred”
Building Womanist Coalitions

Erica C. Sutherlin

University of Illinois Press

The author of the poem “I Come from a Dream Deferred” speaks unapologetically about the complex identity politics related to the herstory of “Third World” women in the United States. The poem’s theme resonates within the twists and turns of strategic movement for survival—not only in body, but mind and spirit as well. It is insightfully clear that the territorial background the poet’s narrator finds herself tied down to is filled with a politics of race, gender, class, and sexual identities violated by institutionalized and systemic power dynamics perpetuating a politics of inhumanity toward the “Other”—especially connected to the subjugation of the feminine. However, the narrator clearly comprehends what enabled her to survive that which she was not meant on earth to survive. According to her, it’s a “soul” matter determined by “the source [known as] the spirit,” the only “one, the god,” who possessed the power to [give] birth to the feminine.” The life-giver of the feminine that the narrator references here is the same inspirited one that Alice Walker references.

Keywords:   Third World women, race, gender, class, feminine, dream deferred, spirit, soul, survive

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