This essay looks at Toni Morrison's Tar Baby through the lens of black diaspora theory to uncover its gendered critique of black nationalism. Further, it suggests that Morrison uses two distinct modes - myth and realism – to construct two different representations of diaspora. While the conception of diaspora at the mythic level affirms unity, the representation of diaspora at the realist level makes apparent the fact of fracture. In this way, even as Morrison provides us with an injunction to revere tradition, she simultaneously deconstructs the basis for articulating a stable vision of what such tradition might look like.


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