Playing in the Dark with My Endarken[ing] Feminist Epistemology
Whether referred to as fieldnotes, life notes, or art, playing in the dark with representations of Black femme life is one of my ways of resisting structures of violence in higher education (Evans-Winters, 2019). These poems are a small collection from a series that is intended to be used as qualitative data for anEndarkened Feminist Epistemology(EFE) project (Dillard, 2006). This exercise represents my process of becoming—endarkening—by steeping myself in Black feminism(s) including but not limited to thought, praxis, and qualitative inquiry. The larger body of work includes science fiction, poetry, paintings and mixed media. Each piece is a sampled in preparation for an autobiographical dissertation that will be heavily artistic in its final form (Bell-Scott, 1995). In addition to this standalone work, I will include reflections upon the process of publishing these poems as data for the larger endeavor in from which I will curate an anthology of life notes/fieldnotes/art nurtured in methods demonstrated by my elders, Toni Cade Bambara (1970), Patricia Bell-Scott (1995), Nana Mansa II (also known as Cynthia B. Dillard) (2006), and Venus E. Evans-Winters (2019). This exercise has higher education policy and practice implications for rethinking how graduate students in the social sciences are expected to demonstrate their learning to academe’s petit-bourgeoisie(The Damned, 1973). In particular, it considers the yet-to-be-well, whose psychological, social, and spiritual murder often disempowers their ability to imagine otherwisetheir education in the wake(Cade Bambara, 1980; Sharpe, 2016).