Having as their point of departure the idea that “the past,” as James Baldwin notes, “is all that makes the present coherent, and further, that the past will remain horrible as long as we refuse to assess it honestly,”1African American women writers embark upon representations of history that aim to connect past and present and individual and community. In this context, history emerges as the central vehicle of cultural reconstruction, of community renewal, and self-discovery.


Oral Tradition Literary Tradition Woman Writer African American Culture Mother Figure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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    James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son (London: Michael Joseph, 1964), 14.Google Scholar
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    Margaret Walker interviewed by Phanuel Egejuru and Robert Elliot Fox, “An Interview with Margaret Walker,” Callaloo: A Journal of African American and African Arts and Letters 2, no. 2 (1979): 34–35.Google Scholar
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    Henry Louis Gates Jr., foreword to Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), xvi.Google Scholar
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© Ana Nunes 2011

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