Black Thunder (1936), by Arna Bontemps, is a historical novel that recreates Gabriel Prosser's 1800 slave revolt. This novel is useful in reviewing some of the historical and cultural linkages between Black slaves in the U.S. and African cultures. Thematically, Black Thunder does more than represent Black people's self-assertion through revolt, it also shows their assertion of identity through practicing Atlantic (or western) African traditions, especially those of the Kongo. This is a topic that continues to be significant in light of greater contemporary political and economic linkages between U.S. Blacks and Africans, as well as increasing African immigration into the U.S. Black community.


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