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date: 02 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A recurring and powerful motif in the African-American literature is the crossroads, a black cultural spot marked by the sign of an X. The crossroads also aptly characterizes the nature of Afro-Native literature but, unlike the “double-voiced” discourse in African-American literature and the “hybridized dialogue” attributed to Native American literature, it is a combination of Native American oral tradition, African-American vernacular culture, and modern Western literature. This article examines the writings of black Indians, the so-called red-black literature, and the ways in which African-American, American Indian, and mixed red-black writers articulate the shared and distinctive histories among them. It analyzes a number of novels by Native authors and authors of mixed descent, including Vine Deloria Jr.’s Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto (1969), Alice Walker’s Meridian (1976), Craig Womack’s Drowning in Fire (2001), and Michael Dorris’s A Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987).

Keywords: African-American literature, crossroads, Afro-Native literature, black Indians, red-black literature, novels, Vine Deloria Jr., Alice Walker, Craig Womack, Michael Dorris, Drowning in Fire

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