Don L. Lee (qtd in Larry Neal’s “The Black Arts Movement”) writes “[w]e must destroy Faulkner, dick, jane and other perpetuators of evil…”(55). Dick and Jane, characters from a ubiquitous series of “readers,” normalize and valorize cultural values: particularly those conceptions of childhood, family structure, gender relations, and race. Toni Morrison begins The Bluest Eye by representing a typical Dick and Jane story ( with all of the markers of a reader: repetition, simple sentence structure, easy vocabulary, normative figures).
Taking Morrison’s first representation as typical, how do Nikki Giovanni’s Nikki-Rosa and/or The Bluest Eye seek to “kill” Dick and Jane? How do the question, qualify, and/or denaturalize these figures? For Morrison you might go beyond the particular rewriting of the story and its affects to its juxtaposition with the introduction of the narrator on the following page.