- Title Pages
- List of Figures
- List of Contributors
- 1 Believing in Ethiopians
- 2 Black Apollo?
- 3 Greece, India, and Race among the Victorians
- 4 Black Minerva
- 5 Black Athena before <i>Black Athena</i>
- 6 ‘Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God’
- 7 Between Exodus and Egypt
- 8 Beyond Culture Wars
- 9 Egyptian Athena, African Egypt, Egyptian Africa
- 10 The Afterlives of <i>Black Athena</i>
- 11 In the House of Libya
- 12 Hellenism, Nationalism, Hybridity
- 13 The Idea of Africa in Lucan
- 14 Was Black Beautiful in Vandal Africa?
- 15 Identifying Authority
- 16 John Barclay's ‘Camella’ Poems
- 17 ‘Lay in Egypt's lap each borrowed crown’
- 18 ‘Not Equatorial black, not Mediterranean white’
- 19 Wole Soyinka's Yoruba Tragedy
- 20 Mythopoeia in the Struggle against Slavery, Racism, and Exclusive Afrocentrism
- 21 Dislocating Black Classicism
- 22 The Africanness of Classicism in the Work of Toni Morrison
- (p.1) Introduction
- African Athena
Gurminder K. Bhambra
- Oxford University Press
Building on recent scholarly interest in Toni Morrison’s engagement with the classical tradition, this chapter demonstrates that her interest in the Africanness of classicism is a significant feature of novels she published both before and after the appearance of Bernal’s Black Athena in 1987. It examines key vignettes in Sula, The Bluest Eye and Paradise, showing that though repeated engagement with Ovid’s Metamorphoses the author asserts the confluence of African, Greek, and Roman cultures. Exploring her interest in the Nag Hammadi texts; in African-American strategic appropriations of a performed ‘Egyptianness’; in Aesop; in the Antiquities collections at the Louvre; and in the work of other ‘diasporic classicists’ such as Wole Soyinka, it concludes that the Morrisonian oeuvre forms a significant contribution to recent reconceptualization of classical culture, and of the implications of this for modernity.
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