ABSTRACT

For Black Arts Movement poet Sonia Sanchez, “poetry is a subconscious conversation” with the collective consciousness, as well as with black cultural traditions from the diaspora.1 About the source of her poetics, Sanchez states, “When I write, I tune in to the collective consciousness, and there I hear voices, lines, words, I hear music.” 2 The conditionality of this intravernacular conversation between poetry and music also affects the ways in which Sanchez perceives the interlinkings between historical consciousness and selfconsciousness. For Sanchez and her new nationalist methodology of Blackness, to know one’s black self is always contingent upon being connected with and sustained by one’s history and cultural memory.