Black Drama of the Federal Theatre Era: Beyond the Formal Horizons

By E. Quita Craig | Go to book overview

TWELVE
THE WEST INDIAN INFLUENCE

IT IS A NOTABLE testament to the enduring and sustaining qualities of the African cosmological mystique and culture that wherever Africans have been subjected to the rigidly enforced reorientation of Western slavery their spiritual vitality, and in some cases even their traditions and customs, have survived.

Because of the varied laws, customs, religious beliefs, and military capabilities of the colonizing European nations, the conditions of slavery varied greatly throughout the Caribbean and American colonies, yet recent field studies -- such as those done by Roger Abrahams of the University of Texas1 -- have recorded parallel survivals and even some similar developments in the West Indies and in Afro-America. In both areas, the expertise of the African oral tradition is still highly prized: it licenses the "broad talker"2 to perform the anti-ritual of the community, while stories of the tortoise, Anansi the spider, and the signifyin' Monkey still clothe the timeless wisdom of Africa with infinite variety, and on street corners of Island towns and villages, as in Harlem, young males still learn to manipulate the rhythmic, imagistic, and other qualities of language in that most exacting of linguistic competitions, the "dozens."3

To those who are familar with both areas, other survivals and developments are apparent. At cane-field crossroads, or on the quays of West Indian fishing villages, black youths speak their silent greetings, strike their rapping stances before dark beauties, and advertise their social and sexual desires in the very rhythms of their walk much as they do in black American communities.4 At dayclean,5 Island fishermen hoist their sails and glide out to sea with the same rhythms of Africa on their lips that vibrate over the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia, and at sundown, in informal groups, Islanders translate religion, politics, sex, the rigors of yesterday's labor, or the kiss of the golden moon on whispering, blue-black waters, swaying palms, and cane arrows into the poetic imagery of Africa while a guitar plucks the spiritual mood into existence, or fingers and feet tap it alive just as those of Gus Smith's hoopers did in a Florida turpentine camp.

Everywhere in the Islands, the generative power of Nommo and the

-140-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Black Drama of the Federal Theatre Era: Beyond the Formal Horizons
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 239

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.