“Agent of Revolutionary Thought“: Bambara and Black Girlhood for a Poetics of Being and Becoming Human

  • Maria Kromidas William Paterson University
Keywords: Black girlhood, child, storying, Sylvia Wynter, Toni Cade Bambara, utopia


In “Gorilla, My Love,” Toni Cade Bambara’s Black girl narrator reverses the traditional adult gaze on the child to disrupt our taken-for-granted notions of childhood, adulthood, and their relations. Read through the lens of Sylvia Wynter’s poetics of being and becoming human and Avery Gordon’s utopian margins, this story serves as a counter-narrative to that of the hegemonic child and inspires new narratives as part of enacting liberation. Through Hazel’s unruly resistance against capital, white supremacy, and patriarchy, Bambara recuperates the alterity of childhood in a way that reveals the joy and revolutionary transformation lurking in the present.


DOI: 10.1353/jeu.2019.0001

Author Biography

Maria Kromidas, William Paterson University

Maria Kromidas is Associate Professor of Anthropology at William Paterson University. Her work explores how race, schooling, learning, and the human can be rethought through children’s perspectives. She has published in the journals Anthropological TheoryChildhood, Critique of Anthropology, Harvard Educational Review, and Curriculum Inquiry. She is the author of City Kids: Transforming Racial Baggage. She is currently researching the raced, classed, and gendered productivity of being and becoming mom.

How to Cite
Kromidas, M. (2019). “Agent of Revolutionary Thought“: Bambara and Black Girlhood for a Poetics of Being and Becoming Human. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 11(1), 19-37. Retrieved from https://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/461