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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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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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African American families and how it is affected by contemporary social factors such as racism and economic conditions. The model also explains how such knowledge can be used to make African American families and communities viable institutions for growth and development (Nobles, Goddard, Cavil, & George, 1987). African Feminism African feminism is a manifestation of the need to ensure the survival and resistance to oppression for African people (Steady, 1992). African feminism pays ← 56 | 57 → particular attention to the unique experiences of African women shaped by

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particular topics that transcend specific geographical borders, such as Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Race Studies, African American Studies, and other fields. 10 Relying on these areas, I would like to center my attention upon one particular issue: the experience of peoples of African descent located and dislocated in the Americas as a particular point of study. This would allow me to transgress the strict borders of African American Studies as a discipline focused on the United States. Similarly, I will show how Latin American Studies has often

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roots die: Endangered traditions on the Sea Islands . Athens: University of Georgia Press. ← 166 | 167 → Kraft, M. (1995). The African continuum and contemporary African-American writers: Their literary presence and ancestral past. New York: Peter Lang. Laguerre, M. S. (1998). Diasporic citizenship: Haitian Americans in transnational America . New York: St. Martin’s Press. Last, M. (1981). The importance of knowing about not knowing. Social Science and Medicine, 15 (B), 387–392. Lattas, A. (1993). Essentialism, memory and resistance: Aboriginality and the

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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