Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-4

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-x

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-32

1 / Organizing Her Nation: Toni Cade Bambara’sThe Salt Eaters

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 33-64

2 /Cooking Up a Nation: Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 65-85

read more

3 / Dancing Up a Nation: Paule Marshall’s Praisesong for the Widow

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 86-111

Bambara’s Velma Henry journeys through time from the very local space of a “backless stool” in an Infirmary to organize herself and her community toward wellness. Shange’s women traverse kitchens and the moon as they cook up a nation. Paule Marshall’s Avey Johnson gets a book-length praisesong because she travels, both literally and figuratively, toward...

read more

4 / Mapping and Moving Nation: Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 112-139

For Gloria Naylor, cultural nationalism is not Avey Johnson’s diasporic travel in Praisesong for the Widow, nor is it a political movement among black male poets and playwrights in the urban North of the 1960s and 1970s or the Afrocentrism of the 1980s. Naylor’s nationalism is, rather, an ongoing effort to build a distinct African American community in...

read more

5 / Inscribing Community: Toni Morrison’s Paradise

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 140-172

A letter composed in smeared lipstick, cuts on a woman’s skin, a name scratched into the dirt, a lengthy genealogy burned rather than published, paintings of women’s bodies on a basement floor—women in Toni Morrison’s 1997 novel Paradise inscribe texts and images that struggle to become public or even legible. Created but rarely read, inscriptions...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-182

In the last two decades of the twentieth century, a group of African American women’s novels reclaimed and revised cultural nationalism. Women’s work—organizing, cooking, dancing, mapping, inscribing, archiving, mothering, and writing—constantly produces a cultural...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 183-204

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 205-218

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 219-227