Black Imagination and the Middle Passage / Edition 1

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This volume of essays examines the forced dispossession caused by the Middle Passage. The book analyzes the texts, religious rites, economic exchanges, dance, and music it elicited, both on the transatlantic journey and on the American continent. The totality of this collection establishes a broad topographical and temporal context for the Passage that extends from the interior of Africa across the Atlantic and to the interior of the Americas, and from the beginning of the Passage to the present day. A collective narrative of itinerant cultural consciousness as represented in histories, myths, and arts, these contributions conceptualize the meaning of the Middle Passage for African American and American history, literature, and life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195126419
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Series: W. E. B. Du Bois Institute Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: "The Middle Passage Blues" 3
1 The Middle Passage between History and Fiction: Introductory Remarks 5
Pt. I "Voyage through Death ..."
2 Patterns in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1662-1867: New Indications of African Origins of Slaves Arriving in the Americas 21
3 The Slave Ship Dance 33
4 The (De)Construction of the "Other" in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano 47
5 Landings: Robert Hayden's and Kamau Brathwaite's Poetic Renderings of the Middle Passage in Comparative Perspective 57
6 The Poetics of Abjection in Beloved 70
7 Surviving through a Pattern of Timeless Moments: A Reading of Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River 86
Pt. II "... To Life upon These Shores"
8 Dislocation, Violence, and the Language of Sentiment 103
9 The Color of Money: Economic Structures of Race and Gender under Slavery 117
10 Judicial Nullification: The South Carolinian Movement to Reopen the African Slave Trade in the 1850s 127
11 Africa in South Carolina: Mamie Garvin Field's Lemon Swamp and Other Places 144
12 "The Persistence of Tradition": The Retelling of Sea Islands Culture in Works by Julie Dash, Gloria Naylor, and Paule Marshall 153
13 The African American Concept of the Fantastic as Middle Passage 164
Pt. III "In Africa, There Are No Niggers"
14 The Enigma of the Return 183
15 The Hues and Uses of Liberia 191
16 Voyage into the Heart of Africa: Pauline Hopkins and Of One Blood 203
17 African Americans in Africa: Black Missionaries and the "Congo Atrocities." 1890-1910 215
18 Sexual Violence and the Black Atlantic: On Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy 228
19 Alice Walker, Activist: Matron of FORWARD 240
20 Passages to Identity: Re-Membering the Diaspora in Marshall, Phillips, and Cliff 255
21 Return Passages: Maryse Conde Brings Tituba Back to Barbados 271
22 Mediterranean Passage: The Beginnings of an African Italian Literature and the African American Example 282
Epilogue: "Transatlantic Passages Revisited, Tenerife" 305
Index 307
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