Black skin as site of memory: stories of trauma from the Black Atlantic

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Abstract

This chapter reads Maryse Condé’s I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem as an allegory of the racialisation that rewrites the Salem witch trials through the voice of a Caribbean-born slave. The accusation and labelling of ‘witches’, in this Guadeloupean view of Anglo-American slavery and racialisation, creates the difference it names as a metaphor for racial naming qua scapegoating. The torture Tituba undergoes as part of her trials also inscribes blackness onto her skin, and since the abolition of slavery, practices such as segregation, mass incarceration, racial profiling, and police murder have not only continued these processes but also reinforced them through repetitive acts of a forced collective memory of trauma at the site of black skin, racialised through this very process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlaces of Traumatic Memory
Subtitle of host publicationA Global Context
EditorsAmy Lynn Hubbell, Natsuko Akagawa, Sol Rojas-Lizana, Annie Pohlman
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapter9
Pages175-194
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030520564
ISBN (Print)9783030520557
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Memory Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6257

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