17lecture1780bcolorpurple09SU - Lecture17 Summer2009...

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Lecture 17 1 School of Arts and Letters Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies Summer 2009 AK/HUMA 1780 6.0A Stories in Diverse Media Announcements : Your second paper is due on Monday, August 10, 2009 by 12 midnight . Please see the Announcements from the last lecture for the latest Upload instructions . Also, we are beginning the final module for the course with today’s lecture, Module 3: Coming Home Again. Please conclude your conversations about Ghosts and Monsters by Monday so we can move onto this final Module in the Discussion Rooms. Surviving or Living? Alice Walker's The Color Purple Historical Context for the Novel Today, we are going to have a bit of a history lesson first to provide some context for you and then I will talk more specifically about the narrative techniques at play in the text. As I am sure many of you know the United States has a tumultuous history in terms of race relations, particularly between African Americans and white European descendants. That history cannot be separated from America's involvement in the transatlantic slave trade; Walker's novel reveals as much. Even though it is set in the American south in the early twentieth century, the characters experience their lives in a way that repeatedly demonstrates the fallout of slavery and the consequences of it to
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Lecture 17 2 the black population. Just to give you an idea of some of the history, I'll tell you a bit about America's past leading up to the time period in the novel. A Short History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade As a practice slavery has a long history going back to the ancient world. Ancient Egyptians enslaved people and slavery was an instrumental form of labour in both the Roman and the early Islamic empires. Africans, too, exported slaves within the continent from the Sahara to the North of Africa and to the Middle East with the arrival of Muslim traders in the region. So until the 16 th century slavery wasn't actually associated particularly with Africa. The Europeans who arrived along the African coast during the late 15th century, then, were not subscribing to a new form of human indenture, but they were responsible for a new volume of exploitation. The forced enslavement of the peoples of Africa led to largest export of human beings for profit in history. See Lecture Summary, Slide 2. This export of Africans coincided with, and, in many ways, was a result of technological advances in ship design that made it possible for sailors to make longer journeys down the coast of Africa, and, ultimately, across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. Because the West Coast of Africa was the closest part of the continent to the European holdings in Middle and South America, it became the central area of traffic for the later transport across the Atlantic. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Britain, the Netherlands, and France soon competed with Spain and Portugal for a share in the profits. Producing a new transatlantic slave trade over to the Americas (including
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2010 for the course HUMA 1780 taught by Professor Eliciaclements during the Summer '09 term at York University.

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17lecture1780bcolorpurple09SU - Lecture17 Summer2009...

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