In the Jewish tradition, Aggadic Midrashim is a method of interpreting and expanding upon the moral and spiritual issues that arise in the Torah. Read like stories, Midrash allows for an artistic interpretation of sacred texts, creates hermeneutical filler for missing pieces or confusing accounts and histories, and gives meaning to the events of today.
When diasporic, colonized people speak of their experience, it is often (re)interpreted by the dominate culture/s abstractly, then linguistically and culturally reworked and revisioned. The experiences then, if they bear any resemblance to an original truth, are often spoken about by the dominating culture from a locus in the intellect. The feelings, the embodied experiences of an oppressed people frequently become shaded and lost midst the valleys of horror, shame, voicelessness, and anger. Lost too are the native ways of expression, the memories, the ways of relating to the divine, the community ethic, the meaning and understanding of life as circular and relational.
These experiences are not unique to a particular people: one hears of similar stories among many colonized people. The situation creates, at least for me, wonder. With respect to colonized, diasporic people, how does one reach the buried treasures, the memories and means of survival, the very consequences of that survival, and the generational effects of oppression? I believe that Alice Walker creates a Midrash of interpretive spiritual and ethical grounding, applies the filler for stolen or otherwise missing pieces of colonized people's histories, and gives voice and meaning to the struggles of people today.