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The Revelations of Asher

Toward Supreme Love in Self – (This Is an Endarkened, Feminist, New Literacies Event)

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Jeanine M. Staples

The Revelations of Asher: Toward Supreme Love in Self is an endarkened, feminist, new literacies event. It critically and creatively explores Black women’s terror in love. With poetry, prose, and analytic memos, Jeanine Staples shows how a group of Black women’s talk and writings about relationships revealed epistemological and ontological revelations, after 9/11. These revelations are presented in the context of a third wave new literacies framework. They are voiced and storied dynamically by the women’s seven fragmented selves. Through the selves, we learn the five ways the women lived as lovers: Main Chick, Side Chick, Bonnie, Bitch, and Victim. As an alternative-response to these identities in love, the author presents a new way. She introduces the Supreme Lover Identity and illuminates its integral connection to social and emotional justice for and through Black women’s wisdom.
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Getting to the bottom line (Or, “I am with you. That means, I am with you. Regardless.”) (Jeanine speaks)

Extract

Getting to the bottom line

(Or, “I am with you. That means, I am with you. Regardless.”)

I believe If…then87 is a beautiful poem. I see it as full of power and promise. I like Asher’s voice. I feel drawn to the balance of her expression in If…then, because of the ways she teeters on the tension she has created in and through it. When I read Asher’s assertions in If…then I understand their origin implicitly. I also understand that the poem may seem, to the eyes of some women, to represent a statement of strength and self-knowledge. This is because her positioning in romantic love and in relation to Soren (her immediate counterpart) is rooted in a complement of desire and rationale, which, to many women, signifies savvy. However, upon closer examination, one can see that these two phenomena (desire and rationale) just barely touch and then separate; in the context of this new literacies event they are like oil and water.88 This disconnect is what ← 411 | 412 → triggers what some might pick up on as a sense of discord in the center of the scope of the poem. Did you feel it? Overall though, Asher’s desire to connect is apparent. She bears the same longing that Soren expressed. The difference is, her longing is hindered by contingencies. In fact, she may be mistaking contingencies for boundaries.

Such a mistake in relating is both common among some women, and also...

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