Monday, April 22, 2013

Isn’t that just plain funny?





Gwendolyn Captain



one is overwhelmed by the silence, inaccuracy, and misrepresentation in instances

where African American female athletes and the enduring nature of negative

and limiting images, which have historically ordered her reality in American

society, have been made more “visible.”61

We are talking about myth here, those boundaries of discourse that

determine belief, practice and desire.62

Gwendolyn Captain has examined the historical construction
The world is changing. This is a good thing. Athletes are leading the way –and female and African-American athletes have long changed white attitudes, simply by showing up and showing off their athletic skills.Black Power, Female Athletes, and a Controversial Poem Called “The Change”March 15, 2011 — Mariah Burton
                The Change                       
The season turned like the page of a glossy fashion magazine.
In the park the daffodils came up
and in the parking lot, the new car models were on parade

Sometimes I think that nothing really changes—
The young girls show the latest crop of tummies,
and the new president proves that he’s a dummy.

But remember the tennis match we watched that year?
Right before our eyes

some tough little European blonde
pitted against that big black girl from Alabama,
cornrowed hair and Zulu bangles on her arms,
some outrageous name like Vondella Aphrodite—

We were just walking past the lounge
and got sucked in by the screen above the bar,
and pretty soon
we started to care about who won,

putting ourselves into each whacked return
as the volleys went back and forth and back
like some contest between
the old world and the new,

and you loved her complicated hair
and her to-hell-with-everybody stare,
and I,
I couldn’t help wanting
the white girl to come out on top,

because she was one of my kind, my tribe,
with her pale eyes and thin lips

and because the black girl was so big
and so black,
so unintimidated

hitting the ball like she was driving the Emancipation Proclamation
down Abraham Lincoln’s throat,
like she wasn’t asking anyone’s permission.There are moments when history
passes you so close
you can smell its breath,
you can reach your hand out
and touch it on its flank
and I don’t watch all that much Masterpiece Theatre,
but I could feel the end of an era there
in front of those bleachers full of people
in their Sunday tennis-watching clothes
as that black girl wore down her opponent
then kicked her ass good
then thumped her once more for good measure
and stood up on the red clay courtholding her racket over her head like a guitar.
And the little pink judge
had to climb up on a box
to put the ribbon on her neck

still managing to smile into the camera flash,
even though everything was changing

 and in fact, everything had already changed—
Poof, remember? It was the twentieth century almost gone,
we were there,and when we went to put it back where it belonged,
it was past us
and we were changed.

"The Change", Tony Hoagland






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