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Title:May I grow to be as strong as my mother: The storytelling tradition of black women in Africa, the Caribbean and the United States
Author(s):Ayodo, Awuor Evelyn
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Palencia-Roth, Michael
Department / Program:Literature, Comparative
Comparative and World Literature
Discipline:Comparative and World Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Literature, Modern
Literature, African
Women's Studies
Abstract:The work is a study of the transformation of the storytelling tradition of black women from orature to dramatic literature in three situations: Africa, the Caribbean and the United States. The study provides insights into the nature of black women's contemporary orature; a comparative evaluation of black women's orature and literary endeavors within Africa and the black diaspora and ultimately provides grounds for the critical evaluation of black women's orature and literature in three distinct societies. The narratives (oral and written) will be studied thematically and contextually.
Black women's orature is considered both in a historical and a contemporary context. In Africa contemporary stories are analyzed which still utilize plots that impart cultural views that have long defined Luo women. Within the New World the origins of narratives are traced, paying close attention to black people's enslavement and interaction with non-African cultures. New and distinctive societies emerged, the nature of which can be articulated by looking at the narratives women chose to tell. In the francophone Caribbean there are no early first hand accounts by women. I therefore analyze two twentieth-century autobiographical accounts by women, before considering tales collected, interpreted (from Creole) and published by women. In the United States, an analysis is made of interviews done for the Federal Writer's Project in the nineteen thirties and selected slave narratives. As representative of women's orature, black women's memorates are then analyzed. In each case there is further an analysis of one tale.
The process by which the storytelling tradition is transformed from orature to literature is analyzed within the context of the three societies by considering the theatrical work of one woman from each region to see if it exhibits signs of writing from within the traditions that have been defined.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Ayodo, Awuor Evelyn
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9522077
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9522077

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