Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chairperson

Cherise Pollard, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Burns, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andrew Sargent, Ph.D.


This project consists of three contextualized literary analysis of Barbara Chase-Riboud’s Sally Hemings (1979), Gayl Jones’ Corregidora (1975) and Octavia Butler’s

Kindred (1979). Through an examination of these neo-slave narratives, this project privileges the voices of three African American women who reflect upon the horrors of slavery through critical reconstructions of the past. Each of these historical novels delves into the dark secrets of slavery calling America’s production of history and memory into question. Sally Hemings, Corregidora and Kindred creatively counter “all the myths and stereotypes used to characterize black womanhood” (hooks, Ain’t I a Woman 86). By reclaiming representation of black women’s experience, each of these texts reveals the humanity of those who were doubly-bound by race and sex. Given their authors’ intentions, Sally Hemings, Corregidora and Kindred can be classified as black feminist recovery projects. Rooted in feminist and post-colonial theory, this project seeks to expose “the grandest [delusion] of all”: the myth of American exceptionalism (Whitehead 291).