She tries her tongue, her silence soflty breaks

Cláudia Maria Fernandes Corrêa



 “For the Black woman, place and space come together in the New World […] irrevocably linking [the] inner place or space […] with the outer space”. This provocative statement was posed by the afro-caribbean-canadian poet Marlene Nourbese Philip (1997:77), in her book of poetry She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks (1989). During slavery space defined and codified the identity of the Black female slaves in the New World, expanding the “coloniality of power” (GROSFOGUEL 2012; 2008), that is, the Eurocentric perceptions that oriented scientific and social thought, to the image of the black female body. Not only was the image marked with such coloniality. The language through which such views were disseminated to explore and dominate Black women, leaving in them a permanent negative also carried coloniality in its structure. Therefore, in order to confront these negative signs, Marlene Nourbese Philip undertakes the task of decolonizing these spaces through a “genealogy of resistance”, questioning those fixed notions of a negative identity and the role of the English language itself, the “Father language”, the language that constructed the Black females‟ body connecting it to colonization. Philip decolonizes these spaces – the female body and the plantation – displacing the European narrative of inferiority while resignifying then through strategies born at the subordinate side of difference, breaking with the hegemonic discourses. Her questioning shifts from the visible result – inferiority, racism, sexism – to the strategies employed and which are behind these stereotyped views and perceptions of blacks.


Body. Language. Language. Place. Space.

Texto completo:



Logo Latindex    


contador de visitantes