Analysis Of The Book ' Crossing Western Space ' Essay

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Jes Grew, which started in New Orleans then quickly spread throughout the country, was viewed by those in power as an intangible contaminant of Western convention and order. It was an appealing form of black expression that had managed to escape it’s intended striated confounds, the ghettos of America, and transcended all the cultural lines and barriers that had been deliberately constructed by Western Society. In his article “Crossing Western Space, or the HooDoo Detective on the Boundary in Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo”, Richard Swope points to an emphasis of “Crossing Social Space(s)” throughout the novel, which points to the “crossroads” of culture, epitomized through the successful spread of Jes Grew. The greatest point of contention between the Atonist and the phenomenon of Jes Grew is that it “cannot be brought into focus or categorized”(40); it “knows no class no race no consciousness”(5). Rather than viewing Jes Grew as a culturally uniting form of expression, it was seen as a lack of control, a danger to the public, but most criminally, as a mark of disgrace to the grand narrative of America. For more than a century, capitalism acted as a fortress for the Atonist separating them from the economically deprived black community. It provided segregation of race, class, and culture, fulfilling the purpose of their spatial boundaries. However, Jes Grew crossed those cultural barriers, which were previously impenetrable, allowing African Americans more economic power to
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