Chapter

Between Breath and Death

Anissa Janine Wardi

in Water and African American Memory

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037455
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042343 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037455.003.0002
Between Breath and Death

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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

Chapter.  11245 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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