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Abstract

In her writings, Toni Morrison works towards a common goal of establishing a black literary canon, once that represents black characters as autonomous and nuanced human beings unable to be boxed into a one-dimensional narrative. Part of this overarching project appears to be creating a hybridizing narrative in which the cultural roots of various African-American communities are integrated with the social movements of the modern diaspora. One common theme between her novels is the inclusion of a specific ancestral figure, one that functions as some kind of pushing point or learning tool for the community within the story. In examining this presence in her novel “Sula”, specifically in the characters of Shadrack and Sula herself, it can be argued that these ancestral figures also act as a physical manifestation of this hybridizing narrative that Morrison seeks to establish in her canon.