Spirituality as Ideology in Black Women's Film and Literature

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University of Virginia Press, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 193 pages
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Given the ways in which spirituality functions in the work of such Black women writers and filmmakers as Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, Maya Angelou, Julie Dash, and Euzhan Palcy, Judylyn Ryan proposes in this challenging new study that what these women embrace in their narrative construction and characterization is the role and responsibility of the priestess, bearing and distributing life-force to sustain the community of people who read and view their work. Central to these women's vision of transformation is what Ryan calls a paradigm of growth and an ethos of interconnectedness, which provide interpretive models for examining and teaching a broad range of artistic, cultural, and social texts. The focus on theology provides a new way of viewing the connections among New World African diaspora religious traditions, challenging the widespread and reductive assumption that Afro-Christianity shares no philosophical commonalities with Santeria, Candomble ...
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Interpreting Spirituality
15
Embracing Responsibility Maria Stewart and Toni
41
Bearing LifeForce Zora Neale Hurston AmaAta
61
Reversing Dispossession Black Womens Cinema
87
Renewing SelfPossession Euzhan Palcy Julie Dash
119
Charting Futures Grace Nichols Maya Angelou
146
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About the author (2005)

JUDYLYN S. RYAN is Assistant Professor of English at Ohio Wesleyan University. Her work has appeared in numerous periodicals and edited volumes.

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