Gwendolyn Brooks and Nina Simone

Description
Start a thread: Brooks described her style as “folksy narrative.” I’d like to know your take on this self designation. What does it mean that she calls her work “folksy?” Since narrative loosely means storytelling, what kinds of stories get told? Write a paragraph in which you explain how you interpret what she means by “folksy narrative.”
I WILL PROVIDE ALL NECESSARY SOURCES PLEASE DO NOT USE ANYTHING ELSE. THIS IS A DISCUSSION ASSIGNMENT SO ONLY A MINIMUM OF TWO PARAGRAPHS IS NEEDED. PLEASE ALSO QUOTE MY PROFESSORS LECTURE AND TRY TO RELATE IT TO WHAT YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT.
Lecture: Gwendolyn Brooks and Nina Simone
For this week, we are revisiting the useful work of the Poetry Foundation, and also revisiting the links between poetry and music in Black American writing.
Gwendolyn Brooks, Poet
First of all, read the bio of Brooks here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/gwendolyn-brooks and then read four of the poems linked at the bottom: “An Aspect of Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire,” “Boy Breaking Glass,” “The Ballad of Rudolph Reed,” and “kitchenette building.”
Even if you didn’t recognize Gwendolyn Brooks’s name, it is very likely that you’ve encountered her poem “We Real Cool” before: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/28112/we-real-cool That one is probably the most well known of her poems, and if you are familiar with it already, I bet you can see aspects of it in other poems here, like how “An Aspect of Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire” has a fleeting “We,” and how “Boy Breaking Glass” presents destruction as a kind of creation.
Similarly, I think you will see echoes of the experience of the Younger family from A Raisin in the Sun, in the experiences of “The Ballad of Rudolph Reed,” and “kitchenette building.”
Nina Simone, Musician
Next, if you are unfamiliar with Nina Simone’s music, read the short biography of her here: https://www.ninasimone.com/biography/
Then visit this page https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2016/mar/02/nina-simone-10-of-the-best and read the blurbs and listen to the songs for some of the ones on the list. I’d like you to read about and listen to these three songs:
3. Missisippi Goddamn,
7. Four Women,
9. To be Young,
Gifted and Black.
Like Brooks, Nina Simone has one text that many are familiar with even if they don’t know about her as a historical figure. For Simone, it’s the song “Sinnerman,” which is 4 on that list if you’d like to listen to it, and it has been used in so many movies and resampled in so many other musicians’ work, it would surprise me if you haven’t heard it in some form already.
Connections
As the semester goes on, I’m feeling like the connections between authors are getting more explicit. Hughes wrote a review of Brooks that is mentioned in the bio I’m asking you to read and Simone wrote a song about work by Lorraine Hansberry. There’s obvious interplay between the Civil Rights activists, the Black Power movement, and the work of Brooks and Simone.
I also feel that as the texts we read get closer to our contemporary era, the activism in authors is possibly more obvious. While Brooks might be writing about current issues, and Simone’s songs might be about atrocities of the past, they occur in a context that make it clear they are actively working for a better future. Consequently, my lectures are getting shorter (hooray!) but I hope that you are still doing the same analysis from earlier texts, thinking about issues of double consciousness, creation of new art forms, and Afrofuturism as they show up in these poems and songs.

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