Brooks, Kinitra D., McGee, Alexis, and Schoellman, Stephanie. “Speculative Sankofarration: Haunting Black Women in Contemporary Horror Fiction.” Obsidian 42, no. 1 / 2 (2016): 237-248.

Arden Henley
Friday 25 November 2022

This article examines how the horror genre in literature treats its black female characters and their trauma. It examines the relationship of haunting as a technique used in horror and haunting as a visualization of grief and trauma. The fact that linear time is less important in stories about haunting allow horror authors to examine black female generational trauma. This article uses literary theory and examples of black female horror narratives to examine how horror can be used to process trauma which, in effect, leads to creating inner peace for the characters.

In examining black horror narratives, the authors explore the notion of trauma, grief, and healing. Healing is a central part of developing personal and inner peace, both of which are inhibited by trauma, depression, and isolation as a result of that trauma. The horror genre allows, and in many cases even forces, that trauma to be faced head-on, and by the end of many of these narratives the protagonist has come to terms with their grief and trauma, having lived with it (and its physical and psychological manifestations) and conquered their fear of it. These narratives are concerned with healing from trauma, and because healing is so tied up with personal peace, the defeat of these manifestations of trauma is equivalent to obtaining some sense of personal peace.


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