Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The Streets, de Marlene Nourbese Philip: denuncia y redención de la Historia

Isabel Alonso Breto


This paper offers an analysis of The Streets, a short play framed within the essay “Dis Place—The Space Between”, by Afro-Caribbean-Canadian author Marlene Nourbese Philip. The play follows the argument developed in the essay, namely, that the sign “woman”, and more specifically that of “black woman” has been expelled from the “outer space” or social sphere and, as a consequence, has been erased from historiography as well as from a particular instance of the writing of Philip herself. Tackling most of the themes which are a constant source of preoccupation for the author, the essay searches for the reasons for that suppression or silencing, as well as for the means of overcoming it. The Streets operates as a symbolic redemption of that suppression. The play, incomplete and fragmented, recovers the historical figure of the jamette, a black woman ‘of loose morals’ who through her heterodox behaviour manages to sidestep the reclusion within her “inner space” devised for the black woman by the secular connivance of patriarchy and white hegemony.

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