'Who Set You Flowin'?'

'Who Set You Flowin'?' : The African-American Migration Narrative

3.89 (38 ratings by Goodreads)
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Who Set You Flowin is the first sustained study of migration as it is portrayed in African American literature, letters, music and painting. This book, identifies the "migration narrative" as a dominant African American cultural tradition. Covering a period from 1923 to 1992, Griffin provides close readings of novels, autobiographies, songs, poetry and painting; in so doing she carves out a framework that allows for a more inclusive reading of African American cultural forms.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 244 pages
  • 154.94 x 238.76 x 20.32mm | 680.39g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • halftones
  • 0195088964
  • 9780195088960

Review quote

Farah Griffin is a new kind of intellectual of the younger generation. She goes beyond the fashionable mantra of Race, Gender, and Class by concretely situating black people constructing themselves as a heterogeneous community on the move geographically, culturally, politically, and existentially. * Cornel West, Harvard University *show more

Back cover copy

Twentieth-century America has witnessed the most widespread and sustained movement of African-Americans from the South to urban centers in the North. Who Set You Flowin'? looks at this migration across a wide range of genres - literary texts, correspondence, painting, photography, rap music, blues, and rhythm and blues - and identifies the Migration Narrative as a major theme in African-American cultural production. From these various sources Griffin isolates the tropes of Ancestor, Stranger, and Safe Space, which, though common to all Migration Narratives, vary in their portrayal. She argues that the emergence of a dominant portrayal of these tropes is the product of the historical and political moment, often challenged by alternative portrayals in other texts or artistic forms, as well as intra-textually. Richard Wright's bleak, yet cosmopolitan portraits were countered by Dorothy West's longing for Black Southern communities. Ralph Ellison, while continuing Wright's vision, reexamined the significance of Black Southern culture. Griffin concludes with Toni Morrison and rappers Arrested Development embracing the South "as a site of African-American history and culture", "a place to be redeemed".show more

Rating details

38 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 32% (12)
4 39% (15)
3 16% (6)
2 13% (5)
1 0% (0)
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