Critical Appropriations : African American Women and the Construction of Transnational Identity by Simone C. Drake
From the novels of Toni Morrison to the music of Beyoncé Knowles, the cultural prevalence of a transnational black identity, as created by African American women, is more than a product of geographic mobility. Rather, as author Simone C. Drake shows, these constructions illuminate our understanding of a chronically marginalized demographic. In Critical Appropriations, Drake contends that these fluid and hetero-geneous characterizations of black females arise from multiple creative outlets -- literature, film, and music videos -- and reflect African Ameri-can women's evolving concept of home, community, gender, and family.Through a close examination of Toni Morrison's Paradise, Danzy Senna's Caucasia, Gayl Jones's Corregidora, Erna Brodber's Louisiana, and Kasi Lemmons's film Eve's Bayou, as well as Beyoncé Knowles's B-Day album and music-video collaboration with Shakira,'Beautiful Liar,'Drake reveals how concepts of hybridity -- whether positioned as créolité, Candomblé, négritude, Latinidad, or Brasilidade -- are appropriated in each work of art as a way of challenging the homogeneous paradigm of black cultural studies. This redefined notion of identity enables African American women to embrace a more complex, transnational blackness that is not only more liberating but also more pertinent to their experiences. Drawing from this borderless exchange of ideas and a richer concept of self, Critical Appropriations offers a rewarding reconsideration of the creative implications for African American women, mapping new directions in black women's studies.