Daughters of the dust

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Dutton, Oct 24, 1997 - Fiction - 310 pages
4 Reviews
Julie Dash's celebrated film, Daughters of the Dust, became an instant classic, claiming honors at the Sundance Film Festival and winning a devoted audience who responded to its lyrical evocation of a family of complex, independent African-American women. Now Dash has put her vision to the page, penning a rich and magical new novel that reacquaints us with her marvelous characters, extending their tale in greater and even more compelling ways.Set in the 1920s in the Sea Islands off the Georgia coast, where the Gullah people have preserved much of their African heritage and language, Daughters of the Dust chronicles the lives of the Peazants, a large, proud extended family who trace their origins to the Ibo who were brought to the islands more than a hundred years before. Like Zora Neale Hurston recovering the folk traditions of the South, Amelia Peazant returns from New York to her mother's home to trace her family's history. From her multigenerational clan she gathers colorful stories, learning about ?the first man and first woman,? the slaves who walked across the water back home to Africa, the ways men and women need each other, and the intermingling of African and Native American cultures.Through her experiences on the islands, Amelia comes to treasure her family's traditions, and especially her relationship with her independent cousin Elizabeth. Daughters of the Dust ultimately becomes a homecoming, a reclaiming of family and cultural heritage.

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Review: Daughters of the Dust -Op/111

User Review  - Milan - Goodreads

One of my all-time favorite books. Period. Read full review

Review: Daughters of the Dust -Op/111

User Review  - Justin Hall - Goodreads

OK, interesting to go through the thought process of an independent filmmaker, then reading the script that was the center of attention. Read full review


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Feminism and Film
Maggie Humm
Limited preview - 1997
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About the author (1997)

A graduate of the American Film Institute and the University of California at Los Angeles film programs, Dash is perhaps the best-known African American female filmmaker in America. Her critical acclaim is founded on the success of her 1982 short, Illusions, which won Best Film of the Decade from the Black Filmmaker Foundation, as well as several other national and international awards. The film's protagonist is an African American female executive in the film industry of the 1940s, Mignon Dupree, who is passing as white without making an effort to do so; her coworkers simply assume that she is white. She is also imitating a masculine identity to the degree that she dresses and acts to discourage being eroticized by the white men with whom she must work as an equal. During the course of the film, Mignon finds that passing for white is oppressive, and she begins to assert her identity as an African American. Dash has also made a feature-length film, Daughters of the Dust (1991), which has been widely exhibited and also broadcast on public television's American Playhouse series. Like Illusions, it is concerned with the articulation and affirmation of African American identity. It focuses on the turn-of-the-century Gullah culture of the Sea Islands off the South Carolina coast, which has retained many West African traditions, particularly religious and occult practices. Dash sees this film and Illusions as part of a series that she hopes to make on the experiences of African American women in the United States in the twentieth century.

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