To Walk or to Fly? The Legend of the Flying Africans in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Paule Marshall‘s Praisesong for the Widow

Nassourou Imorou


The chief focus of this paper is to explore the aesthetics and artistic leverage of magic realism, which are arguably deployed in the novels of two African American writers and thinkers, Toni Morrison and Paule Marshall. The theme of human aerial flight permeates the mythology of Black America. Examples of the metaphor are found in major musical genres, myths and poetry in Black cultures that span the Caribbean and southern North America, embracing generations to testify to the depth of the cosmological and conscious projection of systems of flight escape and homeland return. The incorporation of the legend of the flying Africans in Morrison’s Song of Solomon, and Paule Marshall’s Praise Song for the Widow constitutes an alternate realm of transmission and transformation  of the canonical tales of Black communities. Beyond those heroic tales my paper offers insights on how the power of flying can be used to escape any dangers, and how can Africans share the power of flying with their world counterparts.

Keywords: Magic realism, aerial flight, myth, legend, power of flying, Cosmological.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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