Title

Fearless foremothers: matrilineal genealogies, (inter)subjectivity and survival in Margaret Walker's Jubilee

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Milatovic, M 2014, 'Fearless foremothers: matrilineal genealogies, (inter)subjectivity and survival in Margaret Walker's Jubilee', Limina, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 1-19.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This article examines Margaret Walker's neo-slave narrative Jubilee (1966), identifying it as an important prerequisite for subsequent neo-slave narratives. The article aims to offer a new reading of the novel by situating it within a black feminist ideological framework and drawing on critical race and whiteness studies, postcolonial and trauma theory. Taking into account the novel's social and political context, the article suggests that the ancestral figures or elderly women in the slave community function as means of resistance, access to personal and collective history, and contribute to the construction of the protagonist's subjectivity against slavery's dehumanisation. Challenging reductive and a historical critical readings, the article concludes by suggesting that Walker's novel fulfils a politically engaged function of inscribing the black female subject into discussions on the legacy of slavery and drawing attention to the particularity of black women's experiences.