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Water and African American MemoryAn Ecocritical Perspective$
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Anissa Janine Wardi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813037455

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813037455.001.0001

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Between Breath and Death

Between Breath and Death

Transatlantic Memory in Ntozake Shange's Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo and Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust (p.32)

(p.31) 1 Between Breath and Death
Water and African American Memory

Anissa Janine Wardi

University Press of Florida

This chapter considers the Sea Islands, a primary port of entry for slaving vessels and a site of enduring West African retention practices, as a bridge to Africa. The geographic independence of island communities surrounded by the Atlantic intimates both cultural autonomy and a Black Atlantic connection. Particular focus is placed on Ntozake Shange's and Julie Dash's portrayal of waterways as haunted by the ethereal presence of ancestry. In sum, the chapter argues that the Sea Islands are a conduit to otherworldly events and ancestral visions.

Keywords:   Ntozake Shange, Julie Dash, Daughters of Dust, Sea Islands, myth

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