In 5 days I will begin to finish my graduate work.

Friday I take an oral exam, and Monday I take a written exam. Yesterday, one of my professors told me I could stop studying right now and do better than 90% of graduate students. I kiiiinda wish she hadn’t said that, but I think she could tell from my puffy eyes that it’s been a stressful few weeks. I needed some encouragement, but there is still a lot to do.

Imagine the scene: I was at Henri’s Bakery (popular hot spot for Buckhead Bettys and the like) with my GSU professor. We both looked the part: She in yoga garb coming from a nail appointment, me in a Vineyard Vines skirt and green polo…talking about militancy in the black nationalist movement. It was quite ironic. And I loved it.

Here’s what we discussed for the African-American portion of the exam. (This is 1 of 3 concentrations–others are gender and 19th century biography)

1. What is the African diaspora as a global concept?

2. In the US, who were important political and intellectual influences on the African diaspora model?

3. Discuss black nationalism in the United States.

4. How is historiography moving toward an elaboration of Sterling Stuckey? (historian who says African-American culture retained African influences in the middle passage)

5. What was the “Back-to-Africa” movement? Were all emigrationists seeking the same thing?

6. How did European colonialism and African independence influence black thinking about Africa?

7. What is the ideal black woman?

Then I ran into four sophomore girls stopping for sandwiches before shopping on the rainy Atlanta spring day, and I remembered that you can take the Buckhead out of the girl, but you can’t take the girl out of Buckhead…or something like that.

Alice Walker at GSU

Tomorrow (!) night at 6PM, Alice Walker will be speaking at Georgia State University in the Sports Arena. Tickets are free.

Moxie will be posting more soon, I’m sure.

PS. One of my favorite books is a feminist anthology edited by her daughter, Rebecca: To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism