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ponderous prejudices. What black women writers are doing to move the mountain or at least to slowly dismantle it is to take up the tradition of the slave narrative and apply it to the telling of black women’s stories, using every form of literary expression. Like the slave narrative, most contemporary black women’s poetry is the poetry of liberation and testament. It is “womanist” poetry that gives new life to oral-narrative-poetic tradition, a tradition derived from what Hernton describes as “social circumstances slavery, segregation, discrimination, injustice, and brutality. But owing to the historically extraordinary oppression African descent in the New World, the literary tradition of African-American women is a special tradition, one that has often been suppressed and ignored.” Hernton’s analysis of The Street, a novel about a black woman’s struggle to survive in an urban ghetto, published in 1946 by Ann Petry, leads him to some grim conclusions about and condemnations of white and black male culture \(as opposed to female cultures perceives black women as victims of multiple layers of oppression, as a “market,” a reserve of slaves for white men ‘who plunder and pillage them as sex objects in white homes and in brothels. But Hernton reserves some of his strongest criticism for black men: ” . .black women are slaves of slaves, they are ‘game’ and ‘sport’ for black men who harass them, exploit and kill them, and dare black women to regard this behavior as offensii/e, let alone make it public.” Black male sensitivity to such an indictment became evident after the release of the film “The Color Purple,” when political and cultural organizations largely controlled by men attacked the film. The film was roundly denounced by the NAACP, derided as feminist slander against black men. In 1986 at the University of Cincinnati a “Black Man think Tank” debated: “Will the Color Purple Destroy the Color Black?” On talk shows, in picket lines, in forums and conferences and in reviews and essays, Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” was maligned and discredited. Hernton defends Walker and all black women writers who tell with uncompromising honesty these stories that need to be told. He argues that these Renaissance Women will change the way we blacks and whites consider our collective American past and change the way our children regard the future. As women of all colors begin to tell their stories, the oppressive weight of ‘the “mountain of sexism” might be gradually lifted from us all, women and men. Just as slave narratives of pre-Civil War days helped illuminate the perversity of slavery, perhaps women’s stories will result in a similar change for women of all races. The Sexual Mountain and Black Women Writers is an invaluable guide for those who care about American literature. It is a lesson in history. It is feminist criticism at its best; and Calvin Hernton helps us understand the dual dynamic of sexism and racism and how it leaves none of us undamaged. SOCIAL CAUSE CALENDAR FORT WORTH WALK FOR PEACE. Join thousands of Americans from small towns and major cities across the country in a march for peace in El Salvador. On October 3, citizens committed to peace in El Salvador will gather at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 3300 Hempill in Fort Worth, as across the country Americans gather in cities and towns to march for peace. For information, write Ft. Worth InterReligious Task Force on Central America, P.O. Box 1561, Ft. Worth 76101 JUSTICE FOR BATTERED WOMEN The Texas Council on Family Violence will hold its sixth annual conference and address the topic of Justice For Battered Women, on October 28-30, at the. Wyndham Southpark Hotel in Austin. For information/registration, call: SAN ANTONIO ACTION FOR PEACE Latin America Assistance of San Antonio asks San Antonians to join in sending a message to Congressmen Albert Bustamante and Henry B. Gonzalez by participating in a public statement for peace on September 28, 4-6 p.m. at the Federal Building, 727 E. Du rango. Members of Latin American Assistance are calling for an end to contra aid, support for regional efforts to achieve peace and normalization of relations with Nicaragua. For informa6778. SPONSORS FOR DISABLED American Disabled for Accessible ing for sponsors to help send disabled Texas activists to San Francisco to meet with and challenge the American Public Transit Association. ADAPT is concerned about the Public Transit Association’s opposition to disabled people’s right to access to public transportation. Half of the Texas delegation traveling to San Francisco for the September 25-October 1 meeting live on limited incomes. Contact Stephanie Thomas or Bob Kafka at 2810 Pearl, 443-8252. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE NUCLEAR AGE A workshop for teachers, students, parents, community educators and concerned citizens seeking hope and awareness in a world threatened by nuclear war will be held in Austin on October 9-11. Speakers will include Dr. Tom Hirschfeld and Dr. Richard Kramer on the History of the Arms Race, Sister Terri McKenzie on Russia: Up Close and In Person, Dr. Wes Wallace, M.D., on Health Care Costs of the Arms Race. Other topics addressed will include: Teaching Controversial Issues, Educating for Peace and Justice and Teaching of Critical Thinking Skills. The workshop, which will include small group meetings and general assembly speeches, is sponsored by Educators for Social Responsibility and will be offered at no cost. Contact Janet Shanks of ESR at 30 SEPTEMBER 25, 1987