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Twenty-First-Century GothicAn Edinburgh Companion$
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Maisha Wester and Xavier Aldana Reyes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474440929

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474440929.001.0001

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Black Diasporic Gothic

Black Diasporic Gothic

(p.289) Chapter 20 Black Diasporic Gothic
Twenty-First-Century Gothic

Maisha Wester

Edinburgh University Press

Black Diasporic Gothic can trace its origins back to the nineteenth century at the height of the Gothic’s appearance, when many black writers began to appropriate the genre to describe the real horrors of existence within racially oppressive and enslaving societies. However, many twenty-first-century Black Gothic texts suggest that modifying traditional Gothic monsters is not enough to create subversive work.Rather modern texts such as Jeremy Love’s Baypu (2009-10), Helen Oyeyimi’sWhite is for Witching (2009) and Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) force Western readers out of their region and tradition entirely by introducing monsters from the African Diaspora, creatures recording the horror of physical and cultural theft even as they demand recognition of a pre-encounter cultural history. In each text, marginalised characters are able to recognise, define and combat monstrous assailants primarily because they exist outside of dominant ideological systems. Thus twenty-first century Black Gothic texts posit the existence of radically alternative, and ultimately liberating, knowledge systems within marginalised locations.

Keywords:   Caribbean folklore, Southern folklore, Jim Crow;Get Out;Creole, racism, soucouyant, double consciousness, assimilation, appropriation

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