Thursday, November 02, 2006

All the Characters Matter

The question that always comes up is what makes up a city? It seems to haunt my blogs and journals and the discussions that we have in class. In Morrison’s article she begins to compare the difference between a “city” and a “village.” I wonder which of the two impacts relationships more and I wonder why a “village” developed at all? I also wonder if Morrison believes that this is an attribute of African American culture?
Morrison begins to discuss he idea of an ancestor and the importance that the ancestor plays in the community. Morrison believes that “what is missing in city fiction and present city fiction is the ancestor.” When Naylor wrote “The Women of Brewster Place” it is clear that both Ben and Mattie are the ancestors. In a previous class we asked whether or not Ben could be removed from the stories? I think both Naylor and Morrison would agree that it would diminish the quality of the story. Ben is a central character especially in the ‘village” of Brewster Place.
When I go to Our Daily Bread the men whom I interact with remind me of Ben. They may not have lived the best lives or made the best decisions but they are full of knowledge and guidance. Ben was a comfort zone for some of the characters in the stories and Mattie definitely was. Mattie played an incredible role in the lives of the women of Brewster Place. Whether we know it or not and whether or not we think these men like the men at Our Daily Bread are “good” people they play an important role in their “villages” in fiction and non-fiction. Villages are made up of all types of characters but I think we often forget that all the characters are essential to the existence and vibrancy of any city or village.