Born she is the divine Christ child : female figurations of Christ in Black Atlantic literature, theatre, and cinema
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In order to support and justify the slave trade and the colonial enterprise, Western powers relied heavily on distorted interpretations of Christian scriptures to justify the oppression of black communities in Africa and beyond. The biblical curse of Canaan and the letters of Paul were often called upon to justify turning millions of human beings into merchandise to serve the Western semi-god of capitalism under the protective cloak of the Christianizing mission. In my analysis of works, I offer a comparative analysis of the rewriting of the Christ narrative in three novels: Toni Morrison's Paradise (1998), Simone Schwarz-Bart's Pluie et vent sur Telumée miracle (1972), Marie Vieux-Chauvet's Amour (1968), in a play by Koffi Kwahulé Bintou (1997), and in a film by Sembène Ousmane, La Noire de... (1966). Africa's dialogue with and connections to both the West and the rest of the Black Atlantic need to be reevaluated. I argue that when we consider the Black Atlantic as a cultural matrix that includes Africa and its Diaspora and when we take into account the former's and the latter's extraordinary heterogeneity, we uncover a particularly revealing theoretical framework that allows for a better understanding of the complex flow of cultural exchanges that emerged in and out of this space.
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