Time-binding in African American verbal art as a salve for post-traumatic slave syndrome
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] In the same vein of their spiritual forbearers, the African griots, African American wordsmiths utilize their time-binding capabilities in oral performances to reenact and reinterpret the past as a medium to resolve the conditions of post-traumatic slave syndrome affecting marginalized urban black communities. In this thesis, I argue African American griots constantly re-evoke and address the traumatic experiences of slavery and post slavery; and fusing the two separate entities of the past and present as a cathartic/coping mechanism to achieve four basic goals: 1) foster self-esteem, 2) to reflect/instill black consciousness/pride 3) to exhort political activism against colonial/neo-colonial forces and 4) to establish a new or to reconnect African Americans to a African-based spiritual/communal worldview. By establishing continuity between the ancestral past and the present, I make the claim that verbal artisans strive to heal the psychological wounds stemming from slavery and post slavery conditions.
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