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Difficult DiasporasThe Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic$
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Samantha Pinto

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814759486

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814759486.001.0001

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The World and the “Jar”

The World and the “Jar”

Jackie Kay and the Feminist Locations of the African Diaspora

Chapter:
(p.18) 1 The World and the “Jar”
Source:
Difficult Diasporas
Author(s):

Samantha Pinto

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814759486.003.0001

This chapter focuses on Jackie Kay's Bessie Smith—a biographical contemplation of the blues singer mixed with a memoir of the author's relationship to Smith's image and recordings. As an amalgam of the blues and the discordant location of 1960s Scotland, this text lays the groundwork for reading diaspora through gender and sexual difference. Kay's process of reincorporating Smith into Black British experience redefines the future of diaspora studies through connections that move unevenly across distant axes of space and time. The remainder of the chapter argues that that these aesthetic reconfigurations conceptualize the African diaspora as constitutive of queer and feminist readings beyond a literally traveling subject.

Keywords:   Jackie Kay, Bessie Smith, diaspora, sexual difference, Black British experience, African diaspora

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