White Men's Magic (BOK)
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Characterizing Olaudah Equiano's eighteenth-century narrative of his life as a type of "scriptural story" that connects the Bible with identity formation, Vincent L. Wimbush's White Men's Magic probes not only how the Bible and its reading played a crucial role in the first colonial contacts between black and white persons in the North Atlantic but also the process and meaning of what he terms "scripturalization." By this term, Wimbush means a social-psychological-political discursive structure or "semiosphere" that creates a reality and organizes a society in terms of relations and communications. Because it is based on the particularities of Equiano's narrative, Wimbush's theoretical work is not only grounded but inductive, and shows that scripturalization is bigger than either the historical or the literary Equiano. Scripturalization was not invented by Equiano, he says, but it is not quite the same after Equiano.