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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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–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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. Lacan, Jacques. “The Significance of the Phallus.” Écrits: A Selection. Trans. by Alan Sheridan. New York and London: Norton Publishing, 1977. print. —. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. by Alan Sheridan. New York and London: Norton Publishing, 1977. print. Lee, Valerie. Granny Midwives and Black Women Writers. Routledge: New York, 1996. print. Leonard, Keith: “African American Women Poets and the Power of the Word.” The Cambridge Companion to African American Women’s Literature. 264 Ed. Angelyn Mitchell and Danille K. Taylor. Cambridge: Cambridge University

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, which carries not only the danger of victimising women, but also a mechanism of self- fulfilling prophecy which should be avoided by all means: an emphasis on the idea that women in `developing countries' in Africa are `voiceless' precludes a focus on the systematic practices of patriarchy and neo- capitalist energies which daily amputate most men's access to all-too-audible discussions (n. pag.). 6 Women Have a Mouth': Re-theorisingVoicelessness Bennett further states that [w]hile it remains true that gender hampers many women writers' access to publishers

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, Taylor. Secrecy, Magic, and the One-Act Plays of Harlem Renaissance Women Writers. Columbus, OH: Ohio UP, 2010. Print. Haider, Barbara. Blackness and the Color Black in 20th Century African-American Fiction. Frankfurt: Lang, 2011. Mainzer Studien zur Amerikanistik: Eine europäische Hochschulreihe 57. Haman, Coralie Howard. “The Last Garden.” Birth Control Review June 1926: 201-202. Print. Hardwig, Bill. “The Sentimental Du Bois: Genre, Race and the Reading Public.” W.E.B. Du Bois and Race. Ed. Chester J. Fontenot, Jr. and Mary Alice Morgan. Macon, GA: Mercer

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,” CLA Journal 38 (September 1994): 11–19. Print. Evans, Mari, ed. Black Women Writers (1950–1980): A Critical Evaluation. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1984. Print. Eyerman, Ron. Cultural Trauma: Slavery and the Formation of African American Identity. Cam- bridge: Cambridge U P, 2001. Print. Espinola, Judith. “Woolf, Virginia, Influence of,” The Toni Morrison Encyclopedia, Ed. Elizabeth Ann Beaulieu. Westport, CT: Greenwood P, 2003: 380–82. Print. Fahy, Thomas. Freak Shows in Modern American Imagination: Constructing the Damaged Body from Willa Cather to Truman

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responses of Black feminist theories to urban fiction/street lit, a highly contro- versial African American literary genre that has emerged since the 1990s and has its roots in the storytelling aesthetics of hip-hop culture. The writers of this genre pose a provocative challenge for Black feminist theorizing; at first sight, the genre appears to offer a continuation of earlier African American women writers’ interest in the discourse on ‘gender identity’ and ‘race’ which seems to allow a possible positioning into earlier, well-established Black feminist literary

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. ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� on Language and Identity. London: SAGE, 2001. Barrett, Deirdre, ed. Trauma and Dreams. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001. 262 Bibliography Barthes, Roland. “Der Tod des Autors.” Texte zur Theorie der Autorschaft. Ed. Fotis Jannidis et al. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2000. 185-198. Bast, Heike. “The Ghosts of Africville, Acadia and the African Continuum. (Re)claiming Ethnic Identity in Africadian Literature.” Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien 43 (2003): 129-142. Beaulieu, Elizabeth Ann. Black Women Writers and the American Neo-slave Narrative: Femininity

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, where anything can happen […] where the elements of culture and society are released from their customary configurations and recombined.”642 This is, asserts Houston Baker, due to the “inversive nature” of orality-oriented myth itself: Within [it] lies a limitless, liminal freedom wherein the critic of African-American litera- ture can move betwixt and between Western critical methodologies […] [T]he history in the African-American text is merely a reflective one that mirrors the Westernized version of history […] [M]ythologies in black women writers’ texts are

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. Soyinka, Wole. Idanre and Other Poems. London: Methuen, 1969. ____Myth, Literature and the African World. London: Cambridge University Press, 1976. ____The Road. London: Oxford University Press, 1965. Standish, Peter, (ed.). Dictionary of Twentieth Century Culture: Hispanic Culture of South America. Detroit: Manly/Gale, 1995. pp.156–7. Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. London: Dent, 1909. Styron, William. The Confessions of Nat Turner. New York: Random House, 1967. Tate, Claudia. ‘Toni Morrison’. Black Women Writers at Work. Claudia Tate (ed.). New