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The African Continuum and Contemporary African American Women Writers

Their Literary Presence and Ancestral Past


Marion Kraft

Starting from the principle of the African continuum and based on concepts of an afrocentric feminist epistemology, this study traces back African cultural traditions and narrative strategies in works by African American women writers. It examines the inscription of the Black woman's voice into the Western text and analyses conceptions of female bonding, flexible gender roles, matrilineal myths and legends, trickster figures, folktales, tonal language and double-voiced structures of address as constituting elements in the development of a specific literary canon of women writers of the African diaspora in the USA. Focusing on these textual politics, the study aims at contributing to the ongoing discourse on Black feminist aesthetics.
Contents: On Textual Politics, «Race,» Gender and Difference - Telling Her Story Herself: Black Women's Narratives, Zora Neale Hurston and the African Tradition of the Multi-Voiced Text - Re-Writing Her-story and Making Her Meaning Known: The Autobiographies of Maya Angelou and Audre Lorde - «Dream Memories»: Alice Walker's Womanist Communities and Storytelling Texts - In Search of Their Nations: Paule Marshall's Border Crossing Women - Beyond the Text: Toni Morrison's Songs of Desire.