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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.
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Reading Contemporary African American Drama

Fragments of History, Fragments of Self

Trudier Harris and Jennifer Larson

Contemporary African American dramatists such as Amiri Baraka, James Baldwin, August Wilson, and Suzan-Lori Parks as well as Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, and Pearl Cleage find their creative inspiration in historical events from slavery to the civil rights movement. From the Emmett Till-inspired character in Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie to Parks’s recreation of Lincoln and Booth, these playwrights show that history is the mirror that shapes the identities of African American writers and characters.
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–629. Dunbar, Eve: “Hip-hop (feat. Women Writers): Reimagining Black Women and Agency through Hip-hop Fiction.” In: King, Lovalerie / Moody-Turner, Shirley (eds.): Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon. Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2013, pp. 91–112. Dunn, Stephane: “The New Black Cultural Studies: Hip-hop Ghetto Lit, Feminism, Afro-Womanism, and Black Love in The Coldest Winter Ever.” Fire!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies 1(1) 2012, pp. 83–99. Dyson, Michael Eric: Between God and Gangsta Rap. Bearing Witness to Black Culture

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University Press 2006, pp. 29–52. — “The Occult of Black Womanhood.” Signs 19(3) 1994, pp. 591–629. Dunbar, Eve: “Hip-hop (feat. Women Writers): Reimagining Black Women and Agency through Hip-hop Fiction.” In: King, Lovalerie / Moody-Turner, Shirley (eds.): Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon . Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2013, pp. 91–112. Dunn, Stephane: “The New Black Cultural Studies: Hip-hop Ghetto Lit, Feminism, Afro-Womanism, and Black Love in The Coldest Winter Ever .” Fire!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies 1(1) 2012

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. Impelling into their minds any import of pre-­American history (and thus ideas of an African continuum and civilizational contribution) is not going to make any difference in their immediate impoverished lives. Nineteenth-­century European-­American writers construed that African Americans were incurable of their civilizational deprivation since they have never had the intellectual capability and must learn from the already long-­experienced European American. They must work hard and attempt to scale the mountain of civilization from the very bottom position that they

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Religion, Black Theology . New York: Continuum International. ——. (1974). A Black Political Theology , Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press. Roberts, Samuel K. (2001). African American Christian Ethics . Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press. Ross, Rosetta E. (2003). Witnessing and Testifying: Black Women, Religion, and Civil Rights . Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. Russell, Letty M., Kwok Pui-Lan, Ada María Isasi-Díaz and Katie Geneva Cannon, eds. (1988). Inheriting Our Mothers’ Gardens: Feminist Theology in Third World Perspective . Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press

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, Barbara Smith, Sonia Sanchez, Patricia Bell Scott, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Patricia Hill Collins, and bell hooks brought issues of race, sex, gender, class, and sexual orientation which concerned the Black Women’s movement51 to the forefront of discussion in Black Studies. Later, the emergence of Black Women’s Studies52 as an academic discipline generated a dialogue within African American Studies that resulted in challenging the existing epistemologies53 that did not incorporate the significant presence and contributions of African American women in the dis

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Women’s movement 51 to the forefront of discussion in Black Studies. Later, the emergence of Black Women’s Studies 52 as an academic discipline generated a dialogue within African American Studies that resulted in challenging the existing epistemologies 53 that did not incorporate the significant presence and contributions of African American women in the discipline. African American Women’s Studies also began to assert itself simultaneously inside and outside of African American Studies. Research and writing by Black women which had been previously rejected and

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and American Studies , 13.1–2 (2012). Vail, Leroy, and Landeg White, ‘Of Chameleons and Paramount Chiefs: The Case of the Malawian Poet Jack Mapanje’, Review of African Political Economy , 48 (1990). Valassopoulos, Anastasia, Contemporary Arab Women Writers: Cultural Expressions in Context (London: Routledge, 2007). —— —,‘“Words written by a Pen Sharp as a Scalpel”: Gender and Medical Practice in the Early Fiction of Nawal El Saadawi and Fatmata Conteth’, Research in African Literatures , 35.1 (2004). Vatikiotis, P. J., The History of Modern

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History of Black Women in America (1998), and Black Women in America, Historical Encyclopedia Volumes I, II, III, coedited with Elsa Barkley Brown (2005). She also edited, in 1990, Three Essays: Black Studies in the United States (The Ford Foundation). Her seminal textbook The African-American Odyssey (1999) is widely used. Dr. John W. Blassingame (1940–2000) Dr. Blassingame was an African American scholar, historian, educator, writer, and leading pioneer in the study of American slavery. He was a key participant in some of the earliest debates and dialogues about