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Morgan Parker: Magical Negro


Hugo House Capitol Hill
Thurs April 4, 7 pm


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Recommended by Jasmyne Keimig

"Magical Negro" is a term popularized by director Spike Lee in 2001 to describe a Black stock character whose function is to help the white protagonist in a film realize or achieve something with their quasi- mystical powers of Blackness. Think Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance. Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile. Jennifer Hudson in Sex and the City. Los Angeles–based poet Morgan Parker titling her new potent book of poetry Magical Negro is hilarious, because this book doesn't cater to white selfhood or knowledge at all. Instead what we get is a portrait of 21st-century Black womanhood: our complexities, our sadness, our everydayness, our shared ancestral trauma and the violence done against us, our splendor, our humor. My body is an argument I did not start. That's the pitch of Parker's language. It's hard not to feel completely undressed by every poem. If the world suddenly became a reflection-less place, this book of poetry is what I'd look into to see myself. The poet's vision of Blackness is resplendent, multivalent, complicated, heavy, ever-changing. And beautiful. True, too.

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Hugo House

1634 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Event Times
This event is in the past.
  • Thurs April 4, 7 pm