By Amy K. Levin
Africanism and Authenticity lines the ongoing impression of West African women's traditions and societies on late-twentieth-century literature via African-American ladies. the 1st 1/2 the booklet specializes in how those affects permeate either subject matter and imagery in novels through Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Jamaica Kincaid, and Gloria Naylor. the second one part makes a speciality of contemporary neo-slave narratives as works that sprang from the African event instead of works that simply parallel the unique slave narratives. Levin is without doubt one of the first writers to debate Toni Morrison's Paradise and Gloria Naylor's males of Brewster position. Amy Levin's examine is the 1st to concentration so explicitly at the significance of West African women's traditions in modern writing via African-American girls. Levin demanding situations feminist stories of those writings via revealing the level to which these experiences stay Eurocentric, while they query Afrocentric readings that draw merely on African male traditions as though they have been just like women's practices. In addressing those matters, Africanism and Authenticity is helping to refine the present dialogue of literary authenticity and records a particular culture that
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Extra resources for Africanism and Authenticity in African-American Women's Novels
Meshing smoothly with systems of race, class, and gender oppression” (78). 3 Other critics refer even more explicitly to African traditions. Sharon Holland’s “Bakulu Discourse: The Language of the Margin in Toni Morrison’s Beloved,” suggests that the ghost in Morrison’s novel is an “African retention” (92), linked to the Yoruba river goddess Osun. Likewise, 20 Africanism and Authenticity Carole Boyce Davies refers to the Yoruba abiku, children who die young and return to trouble their mothers (3, 55).
Because her narrative opens with a white man’s account of slavery, she, too, forces readers to consider the role of mediation in obscuring the voices of African-American women. At the same time, Williams’s characters are able to signify on the conventions of the slave trade by selling themselves repeatedly for their own profit. In doing so, they invert dominant power relations, creating a space in which blacks can exert power and voice. Similar issues arise in Alice Walker’s Possessing the Secret of Joy, as well as her nonfiction text, Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women, written in collaboration with Pratibha Parmar.
This is the only place for us men to get together, to look into each other’s eyes and see what we need to see—that we do more than just exist—we thrive and are alive” (167).
Africanism and Authenticity in African-American Women's Novels by Amy K. Levin