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Although the characters are not very pious, there is no doubt to the heavy prevalence of Christian allusions in the names and the culture of the family.Furthermore, the names of the folks in Shalimar are not Muslim but Christian i.e. Attached to the legend of flying Africans are the songs that are sung by those associated with the flyers.
Sugarman done fly away Sugarman done gone Sugarman cut across the sky Sugarman gone home (Morrison 58).
This song is very much like a gospel song and is sung by an older shabbily dressed woman at the flight of Mr.
For a time, Milkman Dead went without a name until “his legs [were] dangling almost to the floor” (Morrison 19). There are many indirect allusions to African culture within the novel but very few direct mentions of the continent or any specific part of Africa. She look just like Papa and he looked like all them pictures you ever see of Africans. Most of the slaves brought to the United States were from Western and Central Africa and it is those cultures which were forcibly blended with American Western culture to reach the present African-American culture of today (Wilentz 641).
This was more of a nickname but it stuck with him better than his real name (which is alluded to later): Macon Dead III. The most direct allusion is when their family history is being discussed and the origin of the name “Macon Dead”. Therefore, the present day African Americans, as in , would say their culture belongs to all of Africa rather than a cultural group.
Toni Morrison published in 1977 during a time when race issues were still heightened throughout the United States.
It would appear that as Morrison wrote this work, she considered a potent question: “Have I made a whole world and led you through it toward a new comprehension of our life and time, maybe all human history? While it is certainly true that this novel describes a torn and strife filled life of African Americans, there is a deeper cultural world that underlies the unique names and ideas in the novel that Price never realized in his introduction.Smith, Reba, Hagar, Pilate, children in Shalimar, and finally a variation is sung by Milkman at the death of Pilate.This “blues” song is sung mostly unchanged throughout the novel in most cases by those of the Dead family from up north.This sudden flight does remind one of Enoch’s sudden disappearance in Genesis where he “walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (). Morrison relates what his finals thoughts were: “For now he knew what Shalimar knew: if you surrendered to the air, you could it” (363).This story of flying Africans is brought full circle in the very end as Milkman realizes the error of his ways and realizes what he must do. This brings completion to the novel and this theme of flying Africans by assuming that only through flight can one attain freedom and the status of legend. Smith flew in desperation to attain freedom from actual slavery or slavery of grief, so Milkman flew to escape the sorrow of death and his errors and all three men attained the status of legend.This is in reference to a portion of the song sung in Shalimar by the children: “Solomon and Ryna Belali Shalut/ Yaruba Medina Muhammet too./Nestor Kalina Saraka cake./Twenty-one children, the last one Jake! Elia declares that the weird names in the song are indeed the names of Africans, and one can even specify they are the names of Muslim Africans who lived in Sapelo Island off the coast of Georgia, although Morrison took some poetic liberty as she wrote the novel Song of Solomon, transplanting Belali Mohomet and his descendants to Virginia and fusing their history with that of the Ibos, to recreate the collective history of the U. Her argument is that the regions and peoples on which the Deads and people of Shalimar are based are from non-Muslim regions of West Africa (Wilentz 645-7).The family of the Deads is reported to have been based on the Gullah and according to Wilentz this people group was made of Bantus and other such groups (347).Ruth Dead is in a sense in bondage to the racial segregation at the time and therefore cannot give birth in a white hospital.The traumatic event could be seen a sacrifice wherein Smith’s death allows for the freedom and life of another.Oh, it’s just foolishness, you know, but according to the story he wasn’t running away. A certain rock near a ravine is named “Solomon’s Leap” after him (Morrison 348). Within the novel it means fleeing slavery, actually flying, dying or leaving one’s responsibilities behind (as Milkman did with Hagar) (Morrison 357).This passage confirms both sides of Storey’s argument. This is confirmed by Storey as she indicates this “flying” is flight from a human representative of a coercive culture, and flight towards a refuge or home” (7).