Book Reviews Just as he characterized Wheatley's oral influences as Senegambian and cugoano's as Fanti (or closely related Akan), m'baye treats equiano's inspiration as specifically igbo. The hart sisters reveal the influence of tricksters in Antiguan narrative. but the trickster, whatever his ethnicity, is more than just a player of pranks. he is a highly ambiguous character, a creative hero force, a villain, as well as a deceiver. most of m'baye's writers reveal ambivalence toward Africa, and he reads into that a trickster figure as a savior of sorts. but ambiguity is very different from ambivalence. m'baye's use of the idea of a trickster influence based on ambivalence is misplaced. Further, it is not necessary to redeem free blacks from their sometimes less-thanpositive view of their own people and their own ancestors. Another view is possible. in a recent article by Adélékè Adéèkó ("Writing Africa under the Shadow of Slavery: Quaque, Wheatley, and crowther," Research in African Literatures 40:124, 2009), the author argues that Wheatley was more concerned with the correct practice of christianity than she was with slavery: "Wheatley's enslaved `ethiopian' avoids maledictory tropes as she articulates her desires for a fulfilled life because her self-conception is
Journal of American Folklore – American Folklore Society
Published: May 12, 2013
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