The Garth R McLoed’s post

“We are all heirs to critical theory, but critics are also heir to the black vernacular critical tradition as well.  We must not succumb, as did Alexander Crummell, to the tragic lure of white power, the mistake of accepting the empowering language of white critical theory as ‘universal’ or as our only, the mistake of confusing the enabling mask of theory with our own black faces” (2436).

Henry Louis Gates, Jr really makes sense here.  Not that I want there to be separate but equal critical theories, but I agree that in order to break away from being considered a “mocking bird” Gates calls on African-American critics to rely on their own language rather that of the established white/standard English to substantiate theory and criticism of all literature.  To frame this concept differently, I think Gates might agree that an African-American offering a critique  using white/standard English to a piece of literature written by an African-American, for African-Americans, in an African-American dialect, would parallel the absurdity of a Chinese speaking person writing a critique of Japanese literature.  I think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s