Dislocation and Relocation in Toni Morrison’s Jazz

3241 Words13 Pages
Migration has been central in the making of African-American history and culture and in the total American experience. African American life in the United States has been framed by migrations, forced and free. A forced migration from Africa - the transatlantic slave trade - carried black people to the Americas. A second forced migration - the internal slave trade -transported them from the Atlantic coast to the interior of the American South. A third migration - this time initiated largely, but not always, by black Americans - carried black people from the rural South to the urban North. At the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, African American life is again being transformed by another migration, this time a global one, as peoples of African descent from all parts of the world enter the United States. This time, the migration of the African Americans is back to the south - a conscious movement from the industrial context of the North for the rural existence in the South. To Bill Ashcroft, the idea of the place is just as constructed as identity itself, and contrary to our understanding of it as just a geographical space, for the migrants or the displaced, it becomes a constant trope of difference in postcolonial writing, a continual reminder of colonial ambivalence and of the separation, yet continual mixing of the colonizer and the colonized. The proposed study attempts at highlighting Toni Morrison’s cultural vision as reflected in her novel Jazz (1992) by studying the work from the prism of the third Great Migration of the African Americans in the early twentieth century that entails the process of dislocation and relocation. The post colonial critical paradigm of “transforming space” will be ...

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