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‘Black and ’Cause I’m Black I’m Blue’: transverse racial geographies in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

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Abstract:

The aim of this article is to address how Toni Morrison’s first novel , The Bluest Eye, points to different experiences of geographical scales and space that simultaneously complicate and reiterate the meaning of being black. Places, bodies and minds, as they intertwine, fluctuate, and ostensibly stay the same, play off each other in complicated ways in Morrison’s novel. Drawing on anti-racist theory and from anti-racist and feminist geographies, this article examines Morrison’s novel and characters in order to bring forth the links between the interrelated categories of race, racism, gender and place. It illustrates how material realities, corporeal differences and subjective understandings of place, race and racism are mutually constructed. It addresses how the meaning of being black in a white-dominated society, in The Bluest Eye at least, is illustrative of complex subjectivities that are situated in places, communities and nations that deny comfortable and coherent lived experiences.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09663690050021733

Publication date: 2000-06-01

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