OUR REAL LIFE PECOLAS AND OGUU CHASES THE SUN - FROM COLLAPSING STARS TO QUASARS: A COSMIC PLAY IN THREE ACTS & TWO INTERLUDES ON THE IMPORTANCE OF IGBO STORYTELLING IN EXPANDING BLACK GIRLHOOD IMAGINATIONS AS RESISTANCE TO SOCIAL ERASURE IN STOP SIX, TX.
Dissertation Defense Zoom Recording - 16 April 2021
This dissertation is a completely creative project, a play, that focuses on #blackgirlmagic in its many iterations, including elements of magical realism, Black girl storytelling, imagination as resistance, and the incorporation of astrophysics as it can relate to Black girl imaginations. Because the earth is on the outskirts of the Milky Way galaxy, we have been able to see past our own immediate corner of the universe and realize more than had our planet been in the center of the galaxy and thus only able to see so far. In this project, I explore the neurobiology of human imagination, and position this process as a critically missing component that leads to the erasure of Black childhood. I take up oral histories of a Black Fort Worth neighborhood, from women about their girlhoods, and then write a play in three acts and two interludes where I use creative methodologies as an act of resistance and to position Black girlhood imaginative poetics as a way of knowing. Using the metaphor of the formation of celestial stars, black holes, and quasars – I show how Black girlhood is actually the most luminous thing in the universe. By using Act 3 as a site of re-imagination, I bring together poetry and prose and art of the Stop Six community members, interwoven with the centuries old Moravian Church baptism records of enslaved people in the Caribbean and Igbo storytelling for children to actually practice a radical praxis of using our place on the margin to see beyond the societal structures of caste and place.