AfriGeneas Writers Forum
Re: Mary Seacole: Writing About Identity
In Response To: Mary Seacole: Jamaica to Crimean War ()
Dear Afrigeneas Writers:
“Writing identity, as well as writing about identity is a quintessentially modern predicament intertwined in the deliberate act of writing as arriving at a state of consciousness.” Author Emilian Kavalski of Loughborough University, Loughborough, U.K., gives us an important approach to remember when we write our African American family histories. Kavalski adds, “The writing process, in itself, proffers a textual ordering of the world arranged according to an individual point of view (which by definition is selective) and displays a particular identity perspective.”
The above is an introduction to “Notions of Voluntary Identity and Citizenship in the Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands.” Perhaps this second posting about Mary Seacole should have been its first since it explains her writing in the real-time experience and perspective in which she lived.
Had Mary Seacole been our contemporary, she would still be lauded as a remarkable woman. The sexist and racial attitudes that challenged Seacole’s journey and service in the Crimea are familiar to most of us. The difference is time and place.
AfriGeneas Writers and many authors of our history must always consider the time and place of their subject. Too many write through the one-dimensional sieve of slavery as our only heritage. The tragedy is that we lose a multi-dimensional, multi-national heritage that not only shaped the Americas, but also the world.
Please read Emilian Kavalski’s refreshing analysis of Mary Seacole.
“Thus, instead of being a displaced immigrant, she becomes an in-placed one. Reaching for a textual understanding and representation of her self she contiguously connects to other texts, which wedge her firmly into a literary canon, representing the very essence of this longed-for tradition. However, it was she who opted to embrace this rooted concept of identity, thus, representing the quiddity of the modern dichotomy of the self between choice and essence.” Emilian Kavalski
Please click on the link below.
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