Grasp That Reaches beyond the Grave, The
The Ancestral Call in Black Women's Texts
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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This book has been a long time in coming, so I must recognize all of those who assisted me and cheered me along the way. First and foremost, is my partner, Ronald J. Stephens, who was with me before I even knew this was a book. Thank you for always believing in me, encouraging me, and for reading my work and talking things through. I have had ...
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Elders have traditionally played an important role within African and African American communities. Elders preserve cultural memory and help younger generations navigate the world. However, sometimes the younger generation becomes distant from traditional beliefs and elders must remind them of the importance of tradition and cultural roots. This reliance on elders as guides is particularly evident in matrilineal ...
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Culture bearers transmit the culture of a people and may be male or female; however, women often are associated with this role because of the overlap between the roles of culture bearing and mothering. In Afrikan Mothers: Bearers of Culture, Makers of Social Change, Nah Dove asserts, âThe woman is revered in her role as the mother who is the bringer of life, the conduit to the spiritual regeneration of the ...
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An elderâs role is to guide his or her community and thus to lead oth-ers on the path to become elders and eventually ancestors. However, as Bunseki Fu-Kiau informs us, everyone does not achieve elder status, as this is not a natural progression like ageing, but an accomplishment dependent on drawing on the wisdom of the ancestors. In The Way of the Elders: West African Spirituality & Tradition, authors Adama and ...
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In this study, I contend that ancestral bonds extend beyond the grave in order to maintain a sense of health and well-being in the face of a legacy of slavery and racial discrimination. Using a woman-centered network of mothers, daughters, and othermothers in the form of elders and ancestors, Paule Marshallâs Praisesong for the Widow, Phyllis Alesia Perryâs Stigmata, and Toni Morrisonâs Beloved are able to offer a femi-...
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In âMechanisms of Disease: African-American Women Writers, Social Pathologies, and the Limits of Medicine,â Ann Folwell Stanford approaches Paule Marshallâs Praisesong for the Widow by studying the to be a cardiac or gastrointestinal irregularity but might also her illness and subsequent healing, the novel refuses to separate In discussing Aveyâs visitations by her Aunt Cuney, Stanford refers to âa ...
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Alesia Perryâs Stigmata opens in Atlanta in 1994 with Lizzie having been in her latest mental institution for the previous two years. She finds it funny that the doctor thinks he has cured her madness because she knows there is no cure for her condition. After fourteen years âand some well-acted moments of sanity,â she is headed home to Tuskegee (Perry 6). It is clear from the outset that Lizzie is playing the role of ...
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One might describe Toni Morrisonâs Beloved as a ghost story. Literary critic, Trudier Harris observes, âCertainly in the black folk tradi-tion, a ghost might occasionally appear among the livingâto indicate all is well, to teach a lesson, or to guide the living to some good for-tune, including buried treasureâ (Fiction 156). According to Geraldine Smith-Wright, âWhile the ghost tale in recent African-American litera-...
In the introduction, I noted the close association between the child and the ancestor, as reflected in beliefs regarding reincarnation; however, children also play an important role in remembering deceased parents. According to John Mbiti, âparents are remembered by their children when they die. Anyone who dies without leaving behind a child or close relative to remember him or pour out libations for him is a very ...
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Although references are made to the elder and the ancestor, the focus of this chapter is the child figure. In the case of Julie Dashâs Daughters of the Dust, the child figure is called forth as a means of bringing ancestral cultural healing to her parents and extended family. Although the children in Phyllis Alesia Perryâs A Sunday in June are not called forth in the same manner, births are predicted by foremothers ...
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After reading novel after novel by black women writers in which ghosts narrated the stories or characters interacted with ghosts, I thought I might embark on a study of ghosts, but this has become so much more. Although I agree with Kathleen Brogan regarding the attraction of ghost stories for the types of narratives these artists wish to tell, there is much more going on in these texts. According to Brogan, ...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013