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The perception of the nature and function of race in history is reflected in literature. Race being the source of all structures of feeling and thought gave rise to racism in societies where, because of the cohabitation of races, natives, white settlers and slaves were finally compelled to live together. Consequently, the history of the races gave birth to racial struggle. Evidence of this struggle is the Civil Rights Movement andthe Black Lives Matterinsurgency in the United States of America and beyond, the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa,but also the Black Aesthetics in African American Literature. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the meaning of blackness in two multiracial societies, one with a history of colonialism and the other with a history of slavery. Through the theoretical lens of new historicism, the paper demonstrates that the Black Atlantic offers the occasion for the exploration of race as a legacy of the clash between the West and the New World in order to reveal not only the commonalities of its racial dynamics but also the complementarities existing between different races. Using Nadine Gordimer‟s None to Accompany Me and Caryl Phillips‟ Cambridge as corpus, the paper concludes that both authors exemplify and contribute to discourses on race by narrating the complementary histories of black characters.
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