In times of social turmoil, African American poets disseminate messages demanding change. Great writers such as Amiri Baraka and Nikki Giovanni wrote of freedom and the rhetoric of the Black Aesthetic. When poetry is set to music, harmonious beats relay liberating feelings that transcend history and culture.
Despite the foothold grief retains in our lives at large, its portrayals in our art are often one-size-fits-all. It isn’t simply a question of what is appropriate to grieve—the world provides no shortage of reasons for that—but whether on the television, over Facebook, or, most perplexingly, within literary fiction,