African american; black; south; mother; family; drugs; love; poetry; war on poverty
Hard Luck Baby is a collection that elucidates the life of a southern, black mother as she grapples with her culture, family, love and the complex reality of black life in America. Hannah, is a woman who was born in the bubbling 40s, raised in the racial 60s and raptured in the drug-infested 80s. It is through these decades that the rough edges of America are exposed. She discusses her life experiences in a manner that allows readers to touch, as much as empathy will allow, the feelings that contour the deepest areas of her barrel. She shares her first example of love and its reverberations along with various accounts of growth. With minimal mention that demands acknowledgment, Hannah achieves an accurate description of American culture, as it relates to poor black people. She juxtaposes multiple societal and familial norms that contributed to her personal development. She is participating in a self-assigned purge of gripping hard-truths, but the crowning moment starts to take shape as she begins to understand herself and her children. Hard Luck Baby is the music of pained grandparents, parents, siblings, and children played over an American landscape. It is a platform for a woman who has been silenced to speak. Written in first person, many of the poems are stories that might have been told from other perspectives with venom, malice or sorrow, but the speaker takes ownership of her role in creating such emotions. As Hannah speaks, the audience may as well, be sitting crossed-legged on a front porch as she rocks in her chair recalling events from her life. She speaks about love, loss, rejection, disappointment, growth, friendship, fight, and forgiveness. At its close, Hard Luck Baby is an elderly woman giving stern-faced lessons to anyone who would dare to sit and listen.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Lipscomb, Tanya, "Hard Luck Baby" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 689.