Join Sonia Sanchez (LTA 05) at Moonstone Art Center this week for two exciting events featuring the reading of Sonia’s poetry and a lead discussion on Martin R. Delany’s book, Blake or the Huts of America. Monday May 7 at 7:00pm – The Poetry of Identity featuring Sonia Sanchez, Lamont Steptoe, Hanock Guy, and Daniel Abdah-Hayy Moore reading their poetry followed by an open reading and Thursday May 10 at 7:00pm while Sonia Sanchez leads a discussion on Martin R. Delany’s novel Blake or the Huts of America. For Information: Moonstone Arts Center, 110A S. 13th Street, 215- 735-9600; Fax: 215-735-2670; email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit moonstoneartscenter.org/martindelany.
Poetry has the ability to probe the questions of identity, sometimes overtly, sometimes with subtlety. How do we identify ourselves? Others? By our ethnicity? Our religion? Our gender? Our age? What makes us who we are? Human beings both share the essentials and vary in the details, there is only one human race but endless variety and it is what makes us interesting to each other. We love, we struggle, we strive to communicate.
Blake is clearly the most important black novel of its period and for the social historian one of the most revealing novels ever written by an Afro-American. Delany focused sharply on the political and social issues of the 1850′s; slavery as an institution; Cuba as the prime interest of Southern expansionists; the practicality of militant slave revolution; and , most importantly, the psychological liberation possible through collective action. Although Delany never claimed Blake to be an answer to Mrs. Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, he was clearly creating the antithesis to her hero. Delany’s hero, Blake, is a pure black West Indian slave who advocates revolution in the United States and later becomes the general of a black insurrectionary force in Cuba with plans to overthrow the government.