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Marginalisation and Belonging in the Autobiographical Writings of Black Women

Meta Harris


This paper examines how autobiography is used as a coping mechanism to deal with the challenges of marginalisation and issues of belonging in the lives of black women. The larger body of research, on which this paper is based, interrogates the autobiographical writings of six black women, including my own life-writings. It explores perceptions of marginalisation and belonging in places where Black women have lived, or migrated to, and the effects on our self-identities. This article is an examination of the evidence from the writings of Eva Chipenda (1996), Amryl Johnson (1988), and Bessie Head (1990), along with commentary from my own autobiographical reflections.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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