African Culture in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Toni Morrison, griot extraordinaire. Wonderful essay by Ben Wilkerson about how she honors our cultural connections in her writing.

Essays of a Young Philologist

African-American literature is a very young subset of literature, considering that Western literature has been around at least since the days of Beowulf in the early Middle Ages. Even though it is quite young, African American literature has many complexities due to its relation to race issues, poverty, and its connection with Africa. As its name designates, there is a certain aura of “African-ness” to this type of literature. Toni Morrison published Song of Solomon in 1977 during a time when race issues were still heightened throughout the United States. It would appear that as Morrison wrote this work, she considered a potent question: “Have I made a whole world and led you through it toward a new comprehension of our life and time, maybe all human history?” (Price x). While it is certainly true that this novel describes a torn and strife filled life of African Americans, there is…

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