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Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun Hernando de Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms (review)

Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun Hernando de Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms (review) with one's own concept of reality. As I followed Harris's very rational exploration of the supernatural occurrences in Mama Day and "Clarence and the Dead," which omits question of the believability of these events, I was reminded of Gay Wilentz's article on Toni Morrison's Song ofSolomon (in African American Review, 1992). That essay challenges a reader who might jump to the conclusion that Milkman's final "flight" is suicide because people can't fly. The character is, after all, a descendent of flying Africans; denying his ability to fly, then, is a rejection of his cultural heritage. When I pose Wilentz's question, "whether Milkman dies or flies," to my students, I ask them to compare the legend of flying Africans to a pretty incredible legend that most of them accept without question: the legend of Jesus rising from the dead. What is the difference between these legends other than the cultures out of which each seemingly impossible feat emerges? Harris seems to be asking readers of Hurston, Naylor, and Kenan for a similar acceptance of another culture's beliefs that Wilentz asks of Morrison's readers. In her preface Harris mentions another of Kenan's recurrent themes: the con- flict between homosexuality and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun Hernando de Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms (review)

Southern Cultures , Volume 4 (2) – Jan 4, 1998

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
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Abstract

with one's own concept of reality. As I followed Harris's very rational exploration of the supernatural occurrences in Mama Day and "Clarence and the Dead," which omits question of the believability of these events, I was reminded of Gay Wilentz's article on Toni Morrison's Song ofSolomon (in African American Review, 1992). That essay challenges a reader who might jump to the conclusion that Milkman's final "flight" is suicide because people can't fly. The character is, after all, a descendent of flying Africans; denying his ability to fly, then, is a rejection of his cultural heritage. When I pose Wilentz's question, "whether Milkman dies or flies," to my students, I ask them to compare the legend of flying Africans to a pretty incredible legend that most of them accept without question: the legend of Jesus rising from the dead. What is the difference between these legends other than the cultures out of which each seemingly impossible feat emerges? Harris seems to be asking readers of Hurston, Naylor, and Kenan for a similar acceptance of another culture's beliefs that Wilentz asks of Morrison's readers. In her preface Harris mentions another of Kenan's recurrent themes: the con- flict between homosexuality and

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 1998

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