Chapter

If Moses Was a Mulatto

Melanie J. Wright

in Moses in America

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195152265
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834884 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195152263.003.0003

Series: AAR Cultural Criticism Series

 If Moses Was a Mulatto

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This chapter discusses Zora Neale Hurston's 1939 novel, Moses, Man of the Mountain, characterizing the novel as a complex, sophisticated work influenced by biblical narrative, African‐American religion, and the social sciences. In the light of Hurston's near iconic status in some feminist circles, the importance of her identity as an African‐American woman for her representation of the exodus is considered. Hurston's anthropological training with Franz Boas, and consequent familiarity with the concept of cultural relativism, is also shown to be formative of her presentation of the biblical story as at once both unique and relative, the myth by which Americans live(d).

Keywords: African‐American religion; Biblical narrative; Boas; Hurston; Man of the Mountain; Moses

Chapter.  20524 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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