Matrilineal memories : revisionist histories in three contemporary Afro-American women's novels
In her book In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens Alice Walker addresses black American women's lack of opportunities to write their experiences for later generations. Walker points out that because black women historically were not allowed to write and often were unable to share their creative thoughts or experiences, black women's literary history has been less available. Walker suggests that women of color look back to their mothers and the oral traditions of their ancestors to recreate that lost history and thus create a more complete historical account that has been absent from white canonical representations of African American history. This undergraduate thesis examines three contemporary African American women's novels and demonstrates that they employ maternal genealogical experiences to reclaim and retell Afro-American women's history. Toni Morrison's Beloved, Octavia Butler's Kindred, and Gayl Jones' Corregidora are postmodern, postcolonial slave narratives ( often called "neo-slave narratives") that trace a broad historical memory of slavery through maternal genealogy. While scholars have addressed the presence of the mother in these texts, they have overlooked the importance of the matrilineal tradition of inherited memory as a tool to revisit and reclaim history.
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Logan, Lisa M.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Perez, Jeannina, "Matrilineal memories : revisionist histories in three contemporary Afro-American women's novels" (2008). HIM 1990-2015. 776.