Sanchez's Writing Technique

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While each period of African American literature has its own temperament, the Black Arts Era has an unparalleled mystique. Filled with a copious amount of compelling works, the Black Arts epoch boasts authors that are each more idiosyncratic than the one proceeding them. For instance, one author of the period , Malcolm X, pens an autobiography detailing his traumatic childhood and his incarceration-motivated transformation. Another interesting writer from the age, Ishmael Reed, gained recognition for his unique, and heavily satirical, literary personality. However, few authors from the Black Arts Era exemplify a character as alluring and dynamic as Sonia Sanchez does. Specifically, Sanchez flaunts a biting and raw disposition, that is indicative …show more content…
Academically, her writing became serious, while studying under a prolific creative writing professor “Louise Bogan” ("Sanchez, Sonia (1934-), An Introduction to." 202). Not only did Sanchez delve further into writing, but she pursued her religion further as well. Specifically, not only did Sanchez “[join] the Nation of Islam in 1972”, but she became extraordinarily immersed, “serving at the Nation of Islam’s Director of Culture . On the subject of her romantic relationships, they were not nearly as long-lived as her relationships with writing and the Nation of Islam. She first eloped with Albert Sanchez, from whom she achieved her last name. However, despite having a daughter together, their allegiance was fleeting. Sanchez then married fellow poet Etheridge Knight and the pair produced twin boys (Gates and Smith 709). Due to the fact Sanchez first corresponded with Knight during his incarceration, and that Knight was a “drug addict, committing crimes to support his habit” ("Knight, Etheridge (1931-1991), An Introduction to." 36) , it should be no surprise that their “marriage ended in an uneasy alliance” (Gabbin 54). In understanding the traumatic, academic, religious, and spousal circumstances of Sanchez’s life, it becomes clear that her multi-faceted works are merely a reflection of her biography. Furthermore, in …show more content…
In an interview, Sanchez recalls her early days of performing poetry, when she and her troupe of friends would storm the bars tucked into the Harlem landscape. She particular remembers how they would swear up a storm to gain the attention of of the bar-goers and says “people stopped when they heard the swear words” (Reich 293). As evidenced by Sanchez’s later work “blk/rhetoric”, this tactic did not change. Peppered in among the stanzas, are the words “f*cks” and “whores” representative of Sanchez’s raw and scandalous disposition. Furthermore, the vernacular with which Sanchez wrote “blk/rhetoric” is emblematic of her laid-back yet confrontational demeanor, since she pens slang-laden lines such as, “blk/capitalism / ya dig?” (“blk/rhetoric” 713). A line such as this is archetypal of Sanchez’s attitude, since she was “bent on expressing social ideas in urgent and uncompromising terms” (Gates and Smith

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