Sexism. Racism. You don’t have to look very far in the news to find that these problems that should already be behind us – indeed, decades ago — are still with us and uglier than ever. Once again, our young people are speaking out. One such young person is Khalisa Rae “Kelly” Williams.
Outside the Cannon: Poetry as Protest
Outside the Cannon: Poetry as Protest is Kelly Rae’s graduate thesis manuscript centered around around the notion that words, more specifically the spoken word, can be used to shift the racial and political climate in a community, but also can start a revolution. Outside the Cannon is an exhilarating, heart wrenching examination of the being a black girl in today’s society where black girls stories are pushed to the margins.
Things Recovered in the Fire/ Southern Belles Burning
Southern Belles Burning is an echo to Outside the Canon, that examines the plight of the black woman in a society that does appreciate or value her. The notion of the southern belle burns here as Khalisa Rae turns what it means to be “proper” and “sohpisticated” on its head. The double consciousness that occurs from finding comfort in a small town to feel suffocated and like a bug under a lens. By rejecting the notions of the south, Rae explores what the feeling of loneliness, isolation, othering, does to a woman from the northen midwest.