Body politics have played a decisive role in American literature, especially in the work of African Americans, whose sensitivity to the tradition of misrepresenting black bodies in American culture has left indelible traces. InAmerican Body Politics Felipe Smith tracks the emergence of particular gender images in association with specific social, political, and economic pressures and explores the impact of interrelated discourses on race, gender, and nation upon the development of African American literature from the turn of the century to the early modern period.Smith focuses on gender images such as the white witch, black madonna, mammy, and white lady and examines the broad utility of body images in the discourse of black national belonging. In response to literary criticism that brackets the politics of representation under the phrase "extra-literary concerns," Smith articulates a theoretical approach that investigates the "extraliterary" as the source of some of the most powerful and enduring figurative and mythical constructs in the black writing tradition. American Body Politics is a remarkable synthesis of historical readings combined with a highly original contribution to the comprehension of racial thought and literary writing.
When every inch of land has been conquered, when every place has been mapped, what is left to explore? This issue of Granta goes into the American wild, metaphorical and real. 'I found in my absence that I had missed two visitors: one left me nothing I could know them by; the other must have been a woman, judging by the gift of wood-shavings and pale grasses she had picked and twisted into a bouquet that lingered on my table.' - Andrew Motion, 'A Meeting of Minds with Henry David Thoreau' And Martin Amis, Thomas McGuane, Melinda Moustakis, Adam Nicolson, Mona Simpson, Claire Vaye Watkins, Callan Wink and others.
This is the first book-length bibliography on Ann Allen Shockley. Despite her consistent and productive output, the writings of Ann Allen Shockley have been neglected by scholars during the last four decades, due to the difficulty in locating her work. This comprehensive list of writings is designed to facilitate future research on Shockley, to allow for a complete view of her writings and their critical reception, and to guide the researcher to the full range of her publications and secondary sources about her and her works.
Although many books in the last decade have dealt with the unique mythic forms of African-American literature, and others have applied Jungian theory to literary criticism in general, none have attempted to combine the two strands. This volume does just that, applying Jungian archetypal theory and certain West African religious principles to the analysis of fictional characterizations of white women. Using Calvin Hernton's Sex and Racism in America in the development of women's stereotypes, Anna Maria Chupa adds a mythic interpretation to these characters, while at the same time recognizing that the social context that informs the stereotypes creates the imagery through which archetypes are manifest. In this way, she is able to analyze both the particular stereotypes of white women and their mythical roles.
The book constructs its analysis around the discussions of the different stereotypes. The destructive bitch, the confidant-sage, the benevolent witch, and other mythic and social types are treated in a context that is neither purely African nor European, but a combination of both. Works addressed include Baraka's The Dutchman, Ellison's Inivisible Man, Himes's If He Hollers Let Him Go, Wright's Native Son, and Walker's The Color Purple. The work concludes with a bibliography and a comprehensive index. This book will be useful for courses in African-American fiction, women in literature, and myth and literature, as well as an important addition to college and university libraries.
In searching for a definitive concept of black theatre, Euba delves deeply into the Yoruba culture and gods, specifically the attributes and ritual of Esu-Elegbara. The resulting vision goes beyond the standard interpretations to place Esu, the fate god, squarely at the center of Yoruba ritual and drama, and by extension, at the center of the black writer's concept of character, actor, and audience as victims of fate and satire.
The first section of the book explores the essence of man in the black world of survival. The second, and main section, seeks to develop a concept of drama in black theatre (in African and the New World experience) from the point of view of Esu-Elegbara. The text is highlighted by various illustrations. Three tables outline the Agents of Satire: Imprecator; Imprecator/Satirist; and Satirist/Agent. A bibliography, notes, and an index will help the scholar who wishes to further explore this rich and complex subject. The book is a sophisticated study that will be of great interest to students seeking to understand African influences on black culture today. Potential markets for the book include university-level black history, literature, or culture studies. A broader market might be found among theatre practitioners and students of modern drama.
First published anonymously in 1912, this resolutely unsentimental novel gave many white readers their first glimpse of the double standard -- and double consciousness -- that ruled the lives of black people in modern America. Republished in 1927, at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, with an introduction by Carl Van Vechten, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man became a groundbreaking document of Afro-American culture; the first first-person novel ever written by a black, it became an eloquent model for later novelists ranging from Zora Neale Hurston to Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.Narrated by a man whose light skin enables him to "pass" for white, the novel describes a journey through the strata of black society at the turn of the century -- from a cigar factory in Jacksonville to an elite gambling club in New York, from genteel aristocrats to the musicians who hammered out the rhythms of ragtime. The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man is a complex and moving examination of the question of race and an unsparing look at what it meant to forge an identity as a man in a culture that recognized nothing but color.
An evocative, delicately comic story of a girl's coming of age. From the moment of her birth in a rural black hospital in Georgia, Lena McPherson is recognized as a special child, with the power to see ghosts and predict the future. Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times.
A passionate ode to an American mecca, Beloved Harlem is a literary look into the vibrant African-American haven, edited by one of its celebrated native sons. William H. Banks, Jr., combines the classics with the contemporary as he showcases some of the best essays, short stories, and novel excerpts inspired by the diversity of Harlem life, from the early twentieth century to the new millennium.The days and nights of black Manhattan come alive in the words of historically famous writers like W.E.B. Dubois, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Dorothy West, Ossie Davis, and Toni Morrison, along with the works of brilliant newcomers to the neighborhood, including Brian Keith Jackson's witty examination of identity politics in The Queen of Harlem and Rosemarie Robatham's "Dreaming in Harlem," a moving tale about a woman at the edge of society who finds sanctuary with a stranger. From renaissance through tough times to revitalization, this triumphant homage gives Harlem the historical perspective it so rightly deserves. Beloved Harlem is a welcome addition to the libraries of readers who are either already in love with Harlem or ready to take the fall.
Beyond Blaxploitation, the first book-length anthology of scholarly work on blaxploitation film, sustains the momentum that blaxploitation scholarship has recently gained, giving the films an even more prominent place in cinema history. This volume is made up of eleven essays employing historical and theoretical methodologies in the examination of spectatorship, marketing, melodrama, the transition of novel to screenplay, and racial politics and identity, among other significant topics. The book fills a substantial gap that exists in the black cinematic narrative and, more broadly, in film history.
Beyond Blaxploitation is divided into three sections that feature original essays on a variety of canonical blaxploitation films and others that either influenced the movement or in some form represent a significant extension of it. The first section titled, "From Pioneer to Precursor to Blaxploitation," centers on three films-Cotton Comes to Harlem, Watermelon Man, and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song-that ignited the African American film cycle. The second section, "The Canon and the Not so Canon," is dedicated to forging alternative considerations of some of the most highly regarded blaxploitation films, while also bringing attention to lesser-known films in the movement. The final section, "Was, Is, or Isn't Blaxploitation," includes four essays that offer significant insights on films that are generally associated with blaxploitation but contest traditional definitions of the movement. Moreover, this section features chapters that address industrial factors that led to the creation of blaxploitation cinema and highlight the limitations of the term itself.
Beyond Blaxploitation is a much-needed pedagogical tool, informing film scholars, critics, and fans alike, about blaxploitation's richness and complexity.