Homeland vs. Hostland: Belonging and Challenges in Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West

Author Details

Emmerencia Sih Beh

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Published

Published: 27 November 2023 | Article Type : Research Article

Abstract

The awareness of belonging existed long time more than it is documented. Although some people feel accommodated in the land they are hosted, some think staying in your place of origin is the best alternative: while others transform their hostland into their homeland as they end up being more comfortable in their newly created space. This study interrogates the view that home is an abode of origin. “Home” in this study is not only conceived as a place of origin but a space of belonging. Migration, misrepresentation and untold history of some nations have caused many people to go homeless. The movement of people in Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West is caused by both push and pull factors. The African-Americans in Flyin’ West are pushed by discrimination, lack of opportunities and poor treatment from the South; and pulled by freedom, peace, security and ownership of lands to the West. These factors make Nicodemus, Kansa, both homeland and hostland for the people who migrated from Memphis, New Orleans, London etc. Though some hostlands may not be favourable for the emigrants, staying there seems better than some places of origin. The study has as finding that the encounter between the host nations and home nations brings about conflict at the level of class, race and gender which makes the place both friendly and hostile. The struggle to belong causes some characters to identify more with the hostland, mimic and assimilate their lifestyles, and at the end reject their own identities. Declining one’s identity doesn’t stop others to come back “home”, identify with their kinds and decentre the hostland and make it theirs. The study therefore concludes that, in order to build a “good home” be it in the host/homeland, one should be able to embrace one’s identity, peace, justice, freedom, equality and communalism.

Keywords: Homeland, Hostland, Belonging, Encounters, West.

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Citation:

Emmerencia Sih Beh. (2023-11-27). "Homeland vs. Hostland: Belonging and Challenges in Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West." *Volume 7*, 1, 28-39