By Stelamaris Coser

A robust argument for extending the bounds of what's labeled as American literature

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Extra resources for Bridging The Americas: The Literature of Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, and Gayl Jones

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DuBois, Aimé Césaire, Eric Williams, and Frantz Fanon, intellectual leaders of Pan-African resistance and solidarity in this century, have insisted on the need for economic and political empowerment of peoples of African descent, much as Martí advocated for Latin Americans as a whole. S. blacks as for Caribbeans and Latinos, the reliance on inner cultural and political resources represents self-affirmation and resistance to alienating, exploitative pressures. 50 Frantz Fanon specifically stressed the urgency of an "effort at disalienation" through self-consciousness and the use of "a positive voice" in political and cultural constructions.

46 The references to a multicolored, complex, and striving "America" in the works of Bambara, Shange, Walker, Jones, Marshall, and Morrison make an explicit connection between the black "nation" in the United States and the peoples and cultures living below the southern border. As for cultural linkages, Lorde, Walker, Marshall, Morrison, and Jones came to recognize them through family bonds, in their own travels to different countries, or by means of the growing number of historical and literary accounts that have accorded these linkages increased visibility.

Values and categories. Such categories could not grasp the interweaving of Creole, American Indian, and African cultures of the Southern Hemisphere or the "heterodox world views" in the "multiple ethics" flourishing there. Mexican writer Octavio Paz has long portrayed Mexico and the United States as "two distinct versions of Western civilization," separated not only by their different social, economic, and historical developments but principally by abstract, fluid cultural aspects that cannot be easily measured.

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Bridging The Americas: The Literature of Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, and Gayl Jones by Stelamaris Coser


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