By William David Hart (auth.)
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8 Chasing the 40 Afro-Eccentricity dollar, Jay becomes a workaholic, working two and sometimes three jobs (as the generalization, if not stereotype, of West Indians would have it). Simultaneously, he pursues a business- oriented education through correspondence courses, reading himself to sleep at night and taking up his study manuals first thing in the morning. Eventually, he enrolls in night school at Long Island University and attains a degree in accounting. His bourgeois make- over is nearly complete.
Jay’s relentless pursuit of wealth, driven by his obsessive desire for “success,” leads to spiritual impoverishment, communal alienation, and a kind of social death. Marshall describes Jay and Avey’s spiritual wealth prior to the “near-fatal day”; their habit of dancing spontaneously, usually on Jay’s initiative, as they spoke to each other with their bodies. The sensuality of the dance, usually accompanied by the transcendence of the blues and jazz, often culminated in the more intense dance of love-making where spirit and transcendence emerged from the sensuality of touch and the union of bodies.
Are the Berbers and Arabs of North Africa African? If not, why not? What about white South Africans? After three hundred years on the continent, are they not African indigenes every bit as much as Blackamericans are American? ) and imagine white South Africans into nonexistence? Why are areas that are geographically near if not contiguous with the African continent, such as the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East, not Africa? Except for a hidden appeal to an essentialist notion of race, why should we imagine that the culture and behaviors that Asante calls African should obey lines on a map that was drawn by European cartographers?
Afro-Eccentricity: Beyond the Standard Narrative of Black Religion by William David Hart (auth.)