yet to receive input from any one of the nine, this writer can but perch o'er aonian streams, pawing at dregs of genius as they pass her by. 

The Diaspora Dispossessed: White Teeth, Fences and Edouard Glissant

The Diaspora Dispossessed: White Teeth, Fences and Edouard Glissant

When ‘E-knock someoneorother’ (Smith 62)[1] ‘look[ed] ahead’ in 1968, he was ‘filled with foreboding’ - like the great Latin orator ‘he seemed to see the “River Tiber foaming with much blood”.’[2] Predicting Thatcher’s later ‘swamping’[3] rhetoric, Powell vocalised the subsurface racialist discontent a ‘sizeable part’[4] of Britons were feeling. Vanguarding the disturbed spike in undulating cultural motion first manifested in the race riots of Notting Hill in 1958, E-knock and his grandiose mythopoetics mined a little-submerged seam of racial paranoia which was to remain a resource exploitable throughout the subsequent decades of British politics. Even so, the ‘Windrush generation’ were perhaps yet less maligned than their counterparts across the Atlantic, where a Black population unshackled by the Emancipation Act of 1863 remained victims of a double diaspora - ‘first from Africa and then from the South’[5]. The African Americans were at the foot of the social ladder, ‘settled along the riverbanks and under bridges in shallow, ramshackle houses made of sticks and tar paper,’ who ‘sold the use of their muscles and bodies.’ (Wilson, Setting) The liminality of the British immigrants, meanwhile, engendered crises of identity, especially as they saw themselves marginalised throughout popular culture. The diasporic communities of both countries found themselves subject to the growing dearth of tolerationist multiculturalism so optimistically outlined by politicians such as Roy Jenkins[6]. Colin MacInnes wrote in 1959 of ‘skip[ping] through contemporary novels… scan[ning] the acreage of fish-and-chip shop dailies… blink[ing] at “British” films’ and being amazed ‘how very little one can learn about life in England here and now.’[7] This myopia which gripped the arts failed to bring culture abreast of reality: a transgression the immigrants themselves appeared hard-pressed to rectify. Both Zadie Smith and August Wilson meditated with hindsight upon the isolating experience of non-belonging - the apparent paradox of assimilation vs preservation, national purity vs creolisation. It was, after all, ‘only this late in the day that you [could] walk into a playground and find Isaac Leung by the fish pond, Danny Rahman in the football cage, Quang O’rourke bouncing a basketball and Irie Jones humming a tune… Children with first and last names on a direct collision course.’ (Smith, 326). Given such a commonplace omnipresence, then, why did notions of cultural purity remain sanctified and why was communication so difficult to broach?

 High Fascin: Hateful hordes manifest in understated dress,

High Fascin: Hateful hordes manifest in understated dress,

In the 1951 census, there were but 15,000 Caribbean immigrants living in Britain. By 1960, there were 171,000.[8] In the space of a decade, Britain’s blanket-white face had been changed inexorably. These migrants brought “ethnicity” and nebulous, personal conceptions of culture to their receiving states - conceptions often running in lines so asymmetrical to those of their adopted nation that either confluence or political representation was made an impossibility. Both Samad Iqbal and Troy Mason in their respective texts reflect this hard-boiled ideologie. For them, culture and identity are blood-inheritances, passed from parent to offspring via the configuration of genes: an inalterable attachment to one’s ethnic destiny. In this, both must profess ethnic purity. ‘Don’t call me Sam,’ growls Samad, ‘I’m not one of your English matey-boys. My name is Samad Miah Iqbal!’ (Smith 112). Protesting the Anglicisation of his name with such fury lest his precariously balanced identity be overthrown, Samad cannot tolerate the erasure of his racial identification even as he lays aside national allegiance to partake in the “European war”. Troy, meanwhile, betrays in stoic assertion of social order ‘his failure to understand the times he is living in.’[9] ‘The white man ain’t gonna let him [his son, Cory] get nowhere with that football,’ he tells his wife (Fences, 1.1) in a statement belied by both the drama’s internal example of Jackie Robinson and his own later upward social motion to set precedent and occupy a position never previously fulfilled by an African American. ‘Certainly,’ suggest Trudier and Sharon Harris, ‘racism is prominent, but Troy has willingly fenced himself in. No white person stands over his shoulder to assert that his son Cory cannot play football (indeed Cory’s white coach encourages Cory); Troy sets that mental limitation with its consequent physical outcome.’[10] These are the misplaced notions of the genotype zealot: a false belief in racial predestination divested of outside influence. Nor is even Alsana ‘the unflappable’ (Smith, 327) divorced from such worries. Regularly awaking ‘in a puddle of her own sweat,’ she is visited by visions of ‘Millat (genetically bb; where B stands for Bengali-ness) marrying somebody called Sarah (aa where ‘a’ stands for Aryan), resulting in a child called Michael (Ba), who in turn marries somebody called Lucy (aa), leaving Alsana with a legacy of unrecognizable great-grandchildren (Aaaaaa!), their Bengali-ness thoroughly diluted, genotype hidden by phenotype.’ (Smith, 327). The first generation are afflicted by primal fears - the diaspora’s dissolution and the death of identity in its relation to culture as the adopted state and its prevailing notions break the integrity of both.

For Wilson, who knew ‘there [were] not strong black images in literature and film’, a desire to ‘create them’[11] was partly borne of the need to salve just these open traumas. ‘Forthrightly identify[ing] himself’ as a Black Nationalist, he expressed sympathy for Malcolm X and the nascent ideal of a Black state which could exist as an economic power within America.[12] Divested of either his protagonist or Smith’s first generation immigrants’ misguided notions, however, he did not profess for the existence of genetic, inherent culture - explaining rather that ‘cultural nationalism meant black people working toward self-definition, self-determination.’[13] Smith, meanwhile, holds the rather more pragmatic understanding that culture derives of ‘geographical, social, and historical fact’ - its electric patterns cracking alongside the progression of history. All, she suggests, is transitive: multiculturalism is ‘a consequence of things like airplanes and global travel… [not] concerted policy’.[14]

 Huey Newton stands vanguard for social Malcolmtents across his racially divided America

Huey Newton stands vanguard for social Malcolmtents across his racially divided America

Quite possibly a result of the chasm dividing them geographically and historically, Smith and Wilson’s differing interpretations are both nonetheless wholly incompatible with those of White Teeth’s Chalfens. Their assumption that superiority inheres lays bare the tautology of Troy, Samad and Alsana while presenting their coin’s opposite face - the white, dominant object of cultural fear which has in the first instance incited the trio’s own flawed notions. The Chalfens ‘interact […] mainly with the Chalfen extended family… the good genes which were so often referred to’ (Smith, 313, emphasis in original). In this barrage of exaggerated signifiers are satirised the complacent, exclusive cultures for whom external ways of life are regarded inferior. The introduction of both Irie and Millat into Joyce Chalfen’s life present this daunting matron assimilating opportunity. She has long believed that ‘keeping Chalfenisms to one genus would be cheating the world’[15] and understands that in these two candidates - exemplar in their possession of weakened, indefinite cultures - she has discovered fertile ground for the planting of Chalfenist ideals.

The process is an insidious one; beguiling in its promise of simple homogeneity as a universal patch to smother the chaos of mixed identification which afflicts the second-generation immigrant. Thusly Irie is enraptured - believing she has finally discovered the line of synchronicity which will allow for cultural acceptance. ‘She wanted it; she wanted to merge with the Chalfens, to be one flesh; separate from the chaotic, random flesh of her own family and transgenically fuse with another. A unique animal. A new breed.’ (Smith 342). The colonialist paradigm which birthed Joyce’s ideology has thus subsumed another victim: diversity tolerated on a physical level, but with all thoughts, assumptions, beliefs, values and practices subordinated before the dominant culture. Above all, Irie wants ‘their Englishness. Their Chalfenishness. The purity of it…’ (Smith 328, emphasis in original).

That assimilation of this kind is by nature oppressive is demonstrated by the coherent concern of Antillean literature - to alter the discursive context of postcolonialism to focus on its subjects; those who end adrift on an ocean both indigenous and imposed. In Wide Sargasso Sea, for example, author Jean Rhys uses her story to illustrate the ‘double alienation’ which has been engendered in her protagonist, Antoinette, who lives ‘in a state of longing and helplessness.’[16] The object of her affections, an aloof English patrician, carries that nation’s cultural connotations and as such is both loathed and loved. To pair with him would be to escape poverty, but to do so would necessitate the severance of herself from her self. Antoinette, like the Caribbean itself, is a victim of cultural propaganda - the socially mobile is linked with Europe and the stagnant with blackness, Africa. She cannot accept her identity unless willing to resign herself to subordination. In Crick Crack Monkey, the central character Tee is similarly urged to leave her lower class roots to be placed in the care of her Aunt Beatrice in town. The twofold identities coexist within her and, like Irie, Cory and Antoinette she is forced to assimilate if it is her wish to ascend in caste. Not that her decision to merge with hegemony will resolve her liminality: ‘her commitment to middle-class respectability,’ tells Merle Hodge, ‘can only lead to the erosion of her self-worth and personal dignity. She will continue to experience inner dissonance because the happy past which she has known intimately will continue to intrude…’[17]

 Middle of the road: an Antillean colonial takes her place in the golden triangle.

Middle of the road: an Antillean colonial takes her place in the golden triangle.

It is this hegemonising influence which Troy has identified and so vehemently rejects - in favour of cultural insularity. In the opening scene, which Michael Awkward sees as ‘attempt[ing] to bracket or set containing boundaries around traditional notions of black theatrical representation,’ Wilson holds to ridicule the ‘nonsense syllables and actions characteristic of black participation in the theater of America historically.[18] ‘The nigger had a watermelon this big…’ opens Troy; ‘Ain’t said nothing. Figure if the nigger too dumb to know he carrying a watermelon, he wasn’t gonna get much sense out of him… Afraid to let the white man see him carry it home.’ (Wilson 1.2) This “ritualistic”[19] space plays host to a discussion of racially motivated socioeconomic inequality and by its references to apparent black simpletons and white male authority figures shows its teeth in a leer at the tradition of minstrelsy - a condescending form Houston Baker describes as defined by ‘nonsense, misappropriation, or mis-hearing’[20]. By expropriating this form as a conversational topic of bitter satire among black men at the drinking table, its cultural power is voided and the enforced reminder that black men and women are “mis-speakers” bereft of humanity is shown for its falsehood.[21]

Nor can such precedent, having existed, be purged in the search for a clean-white purity. ‘Culture,’ as T.S. Eliot reminds us, ‘does not inhere within someone or something… Neither is it entirely and coherently group-generated; culture is generated between and among groups, within language, along asymmetrical lines…’[22]. Norman Tebbit’s fallacious ‘cricket test’[23] is symptomatic of the normative integration policy employed by a majority of post-colonial sovereigns which presumes the opposite. Tebbit’s suggestion that cheering for the England cricket team be a prerequisite for immigration contains twofold misplaced notions: first that an immigrant need renounce any concept of self and identity which will have sprung from their birth-nation and second that ‘England’ and its concordant ‘Englishness’ are normalised or otherwise static - an ahistorical assertion that arises from generalised prejudice. Homi K. Bhabha writes that ‘the historical necessity of the idea of the nation conflicts with the contingent and arbitrary signs and symbols that signify the affective life of the national culture’[24] - that any appeal to the ‘national character’ is without undergird and functions only as rhetoric among the pre-incensed public. Samad exhorts his wife to to ‘act like [a Bengali]’. In response she illustrates Bhabha’s ethnic theorising: ‘What is a Bengali?’ she retorts. The distinction she finds between Occident and Orient is an arbitrary one. Reading from the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

‘The vast majority of Bangladesh’s inhabitants are Bengalis, who are largely descended from Indo-Aryans who began to migrate into the country from the west thousands of years ago and who mixed within Bengal with indigenous groups of various racial stock… “Oi, mister! Indo-Aryans… it looks like I am Western after all!… It just goes to show,” said Alsana, revealing her English tongue, "you go back and back and it’s still easier to find the correct Hoover bag than to find one pure person, one pure faith on the globe. Do you think anybody is English? Really English? It’s a fairy-tale!’ (Smith 236)

Both of Fences’ aging male leads react in a similar fashion to the genetic zealotry of Chalfens, Tebbits and Samads. Bono ‘ain’t got no time for them kind of people’ (Fences 1.1) and Troy rages against the suggestion that he be inherently unworthy to fulfil a labour position well within his own capability. ‘I went to Mr. Rand, asked him, Why? Why you got the white mens driving and the coloured lifting? Told him, ‘What’s the matter, don’t I count? You think only white fellows got sense enough to drive a truck. That ain’t no paper job! Hell, anybody can drive a truck.’ (Fences 1.1). Even race, in W.E.B. Du Bois’ estimation, is ‘a dynamic and not static conception… the typical races are continually changing and developing, amalgamating and differentiating.’[25] The simple racism which locks both men within their social caste is, then, offensive to the very nature of humanity.

 Troy takes exception to the dispersion of white trash.

Troy takes exception to the dispersion of white trash.

Thus genetic ethnicity and cultural assimilation are devices of fantasy instituted with the express purpose of propagating overweening hegemony. ‘Multiculturalism,’ as David Bennett remarks, ‘clearly signals a crisis in the definition of “nation”’, but how exactly are we to visualise an alternative to the circumscribed concept of ‘Englishness’ or ‘Americanness’?

It is not to be found in politically recognised diversity - a belaboured policy which leads to migrant communities developing self-identities as ‘semi-detached Britons’ - neither of here, nor there. Kenan Malik contends that, rather than allowing the organic blossoming of multiculturalism within the state, the policy was ‘imposed from the top, part of a government strategy to defuse the anger created by racism,’ resulting in communities living alongside one another, but in a state of suspended discord rather than true harmony.[26] Millat characterises this phenomenon: incapable of simultaneously entertaining what he regards as two distinct “cultural entities” within himself: the Bengali Muslim and English ‘social chameleon’ (Smith 269). ‘One day he’s Allah this, Allah that. Next minute it’s big busty blondes, Russian gymnasts and a smoke of the sinsemilla… he doesn’t know who he is.’ (Smith 284). Magid starts out life in a similar fashion: the more forcefully Samad imposes his conception of a hermetic Bengali identity upon him, the further he is convinced that ‘we must become more like the English.’ Irie is left so sickened by 16 years of partial parental information that she leaves home to live with her grandmother. For Cory, the wilful devolution of his future at the hands of an apparently uncaring, anachronistic father drives a wedge between them such that he considers not attending his funeral. ‘A distance was establishing itself…’ so Smith says, ‘between fathersons, oldyoung, borntherebornhere.’ (Smith 219).

The returnee Magid presents Smith’s authoritative, white-suited, dark-skinned solution to both internal and external cultural split within the second generation children and for the future. Filled out by her heterodiegetic narrator, Magid is spiritually pure, a saviour accepting of all views: he ‘was good…was kind…walked through the house in white.’ He is ‘…the Second Coming, all saints, saviors and gurus’. (Smith 427). Magid is the human incarnation of Edouard Glissant’s creolisation come to walk among the unsaved. At O’Connell’s, the ethereal being is capable of breaking a decades-long kosher rule by ordering a bacon sandwich. Mickey assents to the request because he recognises the boy for somebody ‘Civilised… a gentleman, [someone] you should watch your mouth around.’ (Smith 449). The immutable barman is then persuaded to attend the ‘FutureMouse’ experiment launch by Magid’s skilful redefinition of the event.

Cory, too, is excised by his own mimetic creolisation. At Fences’ denouement, Rose acts as the moderate Magid in urging reconciliation. Cory lives in his father’s shadow - ‘I want to be me,’ he tells his mother. ‘That shadow’, she responds, ‘wasn’t nothing but you growing into yourself.’ (Wilson 2.2) Having escaped into wider American society and become a corporal of some standing, it is not until he returns and allows the dual identities within himself to merge that he can attain harmony. The play’s epigraph reiterates the same truth: ‘When the sins of our father visit us / We do not have to play host. / We can banish them with forgiveness / As God, in His Largeness and Laws.’ (Wilson, Epigraph). Cultures are not immutable, nor must they remain stoic against outside influence. ‘Wilson focused on the need to study one’s cultural identity in order to fully understand one’s personal identity. His characters are searching for themselves within the spectrum of 20th century America. They, like Wilson, “take the entire black experience in America”, from the first black in 1619 until now, and claim that as [their] material.’[27] Macinness wrote that ‘Some of the changes in our social climate have been negative, frivolous and mean; but others have brought life and hope and… a realisation that tradition, by which we set such store, must, to have meaning, be constantly re-made.’. [28]

Magid ‘the Second Coming’ is also the only character who fails to designate values to differing beliefs. He has ‘converted to Life’, but the faiths of others are regarded as valid and of significance equal to his own. For Glissant, this is reflective of the concordant future which creolisation will allow: ‘We must accustom our minds to these new world structures, in which the relationship between the centre and the periphery will be completely different. Everything will be central and everything will be peripheral.’[29] In the later scene concerning Magid’s twin confrontation, his indiscriminate respect is maintained in the face of his brother’s unbending Muslim commitment. The FutureMouse experiment is not sacrilegious, as Millat asserts, merely a different way to understand religion and other cultural practices. ‘It [FutureMouse] is an abomination,’ charges Millat. ‘I see it rather as correcting the Creator’s mistakes,’ his brother replies. Never once, as the confrontation whirls itself into a long-repressed storm, does Millat vilify his brother’s beliefs. It concludes with an authorial exegesis: ‘…if you divide reality inexhaustibly into parts… the result is insupportable paradox. You are always still, you move nowhere, there is no progress. But multiplicity is no illusion. Nor is the speed with which those-in-the-simmering-melting-pot are dashing towards it.’ (Smith 385, highlights are my own). Multicultural society will be unified by coming engagement with its multiplicity.

For a harmonious postcolonial society to be realised, the conventions of ‘nations’ and the archetypal paradigms which govern their insularity must be broken. Interchange, communion and the exchange of culture via unimpeded dialogue are all necessary for the creation of a multicultural discourse and eventual institution of creolised society. Sukhdev Sandhu identifies White Teeth’s ‘belief in contingency, the tricksy messiness of our lives,’ as the novel’s defining feature.[30] Notions of “nation-ness,” or politically motivated multiculturality can but reek of artifice, for humanity does not pulse within definite borders. Osmosis is the most fundamental process of our physical existences, and a Plutarchan body politic metaphor of the kind still in vogue would naturally have it extend to our social constructs. At the end of Fences, there is no hard break with the father figure or his legacy as such other classics of the American stage as Long Day’s Journey into Night or Death of a Salesman would exercise. Instead, a communion of the new generation takes place under the aegis of Gabriel’s transcendent song to reconcile its listeners with their past and nourish them for the future. The volatile, atavistic ceremony sees the departure of Troy, enacting a spiritual and cultural coherence for his begotted and impacted progeny. Harry J. Elam Jr. describes this defining event as a combination of the African Yoruba ritual - designed to act as a transitionary lubricant for those between worlds - and the Christian soul’s flight to heaven.[31] This self-described angel opens the gates monopolised by Judeo-Christianity by engaging in a Yoruban ceremony connecting both he and his family to African tradition. The conversational synapses of multiple cultures’ pasts, presents and futures are firing like lightning.


  1. Enoch Powell  ↩

  2. Qtd. from Sehdev Bismal, Dream Interrupted, AuthorHouse, 2009, p 68  ↩

  3. Ashley Dawson, Mongrel Nation: Diasporic Culture and the Making of Postcolonial Britain, 2007, p 92  ↩

  4. Suzana Abrahamsson, Happy Multicultural Land? Reading Zadie Smith’s White Teeth as a Critique of Multiculturalism as an Ideology, 2012, [online]  ↩

  5. Ed. Alan Nadel May All Your Fences Have Gates, Essays on the Drama of August Wilson, University of Iowa Press, 1994, p 11  ↩

  6. Home secretary in the Wilson government, Jenkins advocated ‘integration’ over ‘assimilation’ - the latter at best a ‘flattening process,’ where the former promoted ‘equal opportunity accompanied by cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance’.  ↩

  7. Qtd. from Caryl Philips, Colour me English, The New Press, 2011, p n/a  ↩

  8. Owen, David. The Demographic Characteristics of People from Minority Ethnic Groups in Britain. (2003): 21–51.  ↩

  9. Mary L. Bogumil, Understanding August Wilson, University of South Carolina Press, p 40  ↩

  10. Trudier Harris, Sharon M. Harris South of Tradition: Essays on African American Literature, University of Georgia Press, 2002, p 126  ↩

  11. Qtd. from Shamal Abubaker Hussein, The Image of Man in Selected Plays of August Wilson, Authorhouse, 2012 p 140  ↩

  12. Ed. Marily Elkins, August Wilson: A Casebook, Routledge, 2013, p 6, 124  ↩

  13. August Wilson Biography - Plays Explored African-American Identity, Pursued Writing from a Young Age, [online http://bit.ly/2lIbNT0][accessed 03/02/17]  ↩

  14. Isaac Chootiner, A conversation with Zadie Smith, [online http://slate.me/2fXvIhA][accessed 03/02/17]  ↩

  15. M Thomas, Reading White Teeth to Improve Intercultural Communication, Maurice Lee  ↩

  16. Amon Saba Akabaana, The Colonial Legacy in Caribbean Literature, Volume 1, Karnak House, 1987, p 64  ↩

  17. Merle Hodge, Crick Crack, Monkey, Waveland Press, New Ed 2014, p 15  ↩

  18. Michael Awkward, Negotiating Difference: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Positionality, University of Chicago Press, 1994  ↩

  19. Friday night is payday, and ‘the one night of the week the two men engage in a ritual of talk and drink’ (Wilson 1.2)  ↩

  20. Houston A. Baker, Jr, Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, University of Chicago Press, 1989, p 18  ↩

  21. Qtd. from ed. Harold Bloom, Tennessee Williams, Updated Edition, Infobase Publishing, 2009, p 172  ↩

  22. T.S. Eliot, Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, Faber and Faber, 1948 p 62  ↩

  23. Carolin Goerzig, Khaled Hasimi, Radicalization in Western Europe: Integration, Public Discourse and Loss of Identity Among Muslim Communities, Routledge, 2014, p 61  ↩

  24. Homi K. Babha, Location of Culture, p 142  ↩

  25. W.E.B. Du Boi, Black Folk Then and Now: An Essay in the History and Sociology of the Negro Race, Oxford University Press, 1939, p 1  ↩

  26. Kenan Malik, From Fatwa to Jihad: the Rushdie Affair and its Legacy. Atlantic Books, 2009, p 130  ↩

  27. Meredith Kiffer August Wilson: The Search for Black Identity and Social Standing in 20th Century America, [online: http://bit.ly/2l4lJ9W][accessed 02/02/2017]  ↩

  28. Qtd. from Caryl Philips, Colour me English, The New Press, 2011, p n/a  ↩

  29. nterview with Poet Edouard Glissant from Martinique, Label France, [online http://bit.ly/2jGMvIb][accessed 02/02/2017]  ↩

  30. Sukhdev Sandhu, Squires 2002, p 75  ↩

  31. Harry J. Elam, Jr. The Past as Present in the drama of August Wilson, University of Michigan Press, 2004, p 130  ↩


Bibliography:

Awkward, Michael. Negotiating Difference: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Positionality. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1995. Print.

B., Du Bois W. E. Black Folk, Then and Now: An Essay in the History and Sociology of the Negro Race. New York: H. Holt, 1939. Print.

Baker, Houston A. Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1987. Print.

Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994. Print.

Bismal, Sehdev. Dream Interrupted. Milton Keynes: AuthorHouse, 2009. Print.

Bogumil, Mary L. Understanding August Wilson. Columbia: U of South Carolina, 1999. Print.

Dawson, Ashley. Mongrel Nation: Diasporic Culture and the Making of Postcolonial Britain. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan, 2007. Print.

Dawson, Ashley. Mongrel Nation: Diasporic Culture and the Making of Postcolonial Britain. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan, 2007. Print.

Elam, Harry Justin. The past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan, 2004. Print.

Eliot, T. S. Notes towards the Definition of Culture. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949. Print.

Elkins, Marilyn Roberson. August Wilson: A Casebook. New York: Garland, 1994. Print.

Goerzig, Carolin, and Khaled Al-Hashimi. Radicalization in Western Europe: Integration, Public Discourse and Loss of Identity among Muslim Communities. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2015. Print.

Harris, Trudier. South of Tradition: Essays on African American Literature. Athens: U of Georgia, 2002. Print.

Hussein, Shamal Abu-Baker. The Image of Man in Selected Plays of August Wilson. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2012. Print.

Malik, Kenan. From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy. London: Atlantic, 2010. Print.

"Multicultural London in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (2000)." Contemporary Fictions of Multiculturalism. Print.

Nadel, Alan. May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama of August Wilson. Iowa City: U of Iowa, 1994. Print.

Owen, David. "The Demographic Characteristics of People from Minority Ethnic Groups in Britain." Explaining Ethnic Differences and Changing Patterns of Disadvantage in Britain (2003): 21-51. Print.

Phillips, Caryl. Color Me English: Migration and Belonging before and after 9/11. New York: New, 2011. Print.

Saakana, Amon Saba. The Colonial Legacy in Caribbean Literature. Trenton, NJ: Africa World, 1987. Print.

Sandhu, Sukhdev. "Salman Rushdie: A Postmodern Reading of His Major Works (review)." Modernism/modernity 10.4 (2003): 789-90. Print.

Smith, Zadie. White Teeth: A Novel. New York: Random House, 2000. Print.

Walters, Tracey Lorraine. Zadie Smith: Critical Essays. New York: Peter Lang, 2008. Print.

"White Teeth Reconsidered : Narrative Deception and Uncomfortable Truths." Reading Zadie Smith : The First Decade and Beyond. Print.

Wilson, August. Fences: August Wilson. New York: Samuel French, 2010. Print.


  1. Enoch Powell  ↩

  2. Qtd. from Sehdev Bismal, Dream Interrupted, AuthorHouse, 2009, p 68  ↩

  3. Ashley Dawson, Mongrel Nation: Diasporic Culture and the Making of Postcolonial Britain, 2007, p 92  ↩

  4. Suzana Abrahamsson, Happy Multicultural Land? Reading Zadie Smith’s White Teeth as a Critique of Multiculturalism as an Ideology, 2012, [online]  ↩

  5. Ed. Alan Nadel May All Your Fences Have Gates, Essays on the Drama of August Wilson, University of Iowa Press, 1994, p 11  ↩

  6. Home secretary in the Wilson government, Jenkins advocated ‘integration’ over ‘assimilation’ - the latter at best a ‘flattening process,’ where the former promoted ‘equal opportunity accompanied by cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance’.  ↩

  7. Qtd. from Caryl Philips, Colour me English, The New Press, 2011, p n/a  ↩

  8. Owen, David. The Demographic Characteristics of People from Minority Ethnic Groups in Britain. (2003): 21–51.  ↩

  9. Mary L. Bogumil, Understanding August Wilson, University of South Carolina Press, p 40  ↩

  10. Trudier Harris, Sharon M. Harris South of Tradition: Essays on African American Literature, University of Georgia Press, 2002, p 126  ↩

  11. Qtd. from Shamal Abubaker Hussein, The Image of Man in Selected Plays of August Wilson, Authorhouse, 2012 p 140  ↩

  12. Ed. Marily Elkins, August Wilson: A Casebook, Routledge, 2013, p 6, 124  ↩

  13. August Wilson Biography - Plays Explored African-American Identity, Pursued Writing from a Young Age, [online http://bit.ly/2lIbNT0][accessed 03/02/17]  ↩

  14. Isaac Chootiner, A conversation with Zadie Smith, [online http://slate.me/2fXvIhA][accessed 03/02/17]  ↩

  15. M Thomas, Reading White Teeth to Improve Intercultural Communication, Maurice Lee  ↩

  16. Amon Saba Akabaana, The Colonial Legacy in Caribbean Literature, Volume 1, Karnak House, 1987, p 64  ↩

  17. Merle Hodge, Crick Crack, Monkey, Waveland Press, New Ed 2014, p 15  ↩

  18. Michael Awkward, Negotiating Difference: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Positionality, University of Chicago Press, 1994  ↩

  19. Friday night is payday, and ‘the one night of the week the two men engage in a ritual of talk and drink’ (Wilson 1.2)  ↩

  20. Houston A. Baker, Jr, Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, University of Chicago Press, 1989, p 18  ↩

  21. Qtd. from ed. Harold Bloom, Tennessee Williams, Updated Edition, Infobase Publishing, 2009, p 172  ↩

  22. T.S. Eliot, Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, Faber and Faber, 1948 p 62  ↩

  23. Carolin Goerzig, Khaled Hasimi, Radicalization in Western Europe: Integration, Public Discourse and Loss of Identity Among Muslim Communities, Routledge, 2014, p 61  ↩

  24. Homi K. Babha, Location of Culture, p 142  ↩

  25. W.E.B. Du Boi, Black Folk Then and Now: An Essay in the History and Sociology of the Negro Race, Oxford University Press, 1939, p 1  ↩

  26. Kenan Malik, From Fatwa to Jihad: the Rushdie Affair and its Legacy. Atlantic Books, 2009, p 130  ↩

  27. Meredith Kiffer August Wilson: The Search for Black Identity and Social Standing in 20th Century America, [online: http://bit.ly/2l4lJ9W][accessed 02/02/2017]  ↩

  28. Qtd. from Caryl Philips, Colour me English, The New Press, 2011, p n/a  ↩

  29. nterview with Poet Edouard Glissant from Martinique, Label France, [online http://bit.ly/2jGMvIb][accessed 02/02/2017]  ↩

  30. Sukhdev Sandhu, Squires 2002, p 75  ↩

  31. Harry J. Elam, Jr. The Past as Present in the drama of August Wilson, University of Michigan Press, 2004, p 130  ↩

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