Early on this semester in my literature course on black women, creativity, and styles of delivery, I'll talk to students about Angel C. Dye, an emergent poet and scholar. Off the top when we met a few years back, Angel made two things about herself known: she was a proud Howard University student and a huge fan of Janelle Monáe. A bit after that, I learned that she's a poet.
I'll point out Angel to my students as someone their age who moves across various creative domains. I predict someone will note, "You mean, she code switches?" Ok, yeah, but it's more than that.
I mean, I know that code switching is a popular concept, but it doesn't always fully capture what it means for people to build expertise in distinct realms of knowledge. Nor does it account for the routes of an academic journey. That is, more than only switching, such journeys involve immersion and commitments.
Angel graduated from Howard University, went on to earn her MFA from the University of Kentucky, and is now beginning a PhD program in literature at Rutgers University. At the same time, she remains up-to-date as a pop culture aficionado -- a keen follower of Queen Sugar and all things J. Monáe.
Since my students and I are discussing styles of delivery, I'll note listening to Angel in multiple contexts. As a student in classroom discussions. As a presenter at academic conferences. As a homegirl talking among a group of black women. And as a poet on stage. A consideration of the modalities of Angel C. Dye, I'm hoping, will assist my students in thinking more about their own voices in the world.
• Black women, creativity, and styles of delivery