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Publishing Blackness

Textual Constructions of Race Since 1850

George Hutchinson

Publication Year: 2013

From the white editorial authentication of slave narratives, to the cultural hybridity of the Harlem Renaissance, to the overtly independent publications of the Black Arts Movement, to the commercial power of Oprah's Book Club, African American textuali

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Series: Editorial Theory and Literary Criticism


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-17

Ed Bullins’s 1971 one-page play, Malcolm: ’71, or Publishing Blackness, laments and excoriates the academic domestication of black radicalism, specifically with reference to a white graduate student’s request that a black playwright recommend black poets for inclusion in her planned anthology of radical American literature...

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The Brief Wondrous Life of the Anglo-African Magazine; or, Antebellum African American Editorial Practice and Its Afterlives

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pp. 18-38

On December 6, 1856, the Provincial Freeman and Weekly Advertiser ran James Monroe Whitfield’s “Prospectus of the Afric-American Quarterly” advertising a future periodical that he hoped would “enter the arena of public literature, to exhibit the intellectual capacities of the negro race, and vindicate them before...

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Representing African American Literature; or, Tradition against the Individual Talent

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pp. 39-66

Literary historiography, criticism, and editorial work have done their parts in defining what Darby English has recently termed “black representational space,” an institutional enclosure that has developed out of the history of racist segregation, on the one hand, and strategies of recruiting art by African...

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“Quite as human as it is Negro”: Subpersons and Textual Property in Native Son and Black Boy

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pp. 67-92

For fifty-one years, everyone read the wrong version of Native Son. Black Boy met a similar fate for thirty-two years, though readers could have stitched together the clues to that textual mystery, if they were especially determined. The only publicly available versions of these works, which continue to define...

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The Colors of Modernism: Publishing African Americans, Jews, and Irish in the 1920s

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pp. 93-107

On 5 November 1939, shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Paul Robeson performed as lead baritone in the CBS radio performance of the eleven-minute cantata “Ballad for Americans,” which caused the widest public reaction to a program since Orson Welles’s sensational...

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More than McKay and Guillén: The Caribbean in Hughes and Bontemps’s The Poetry of the Negro (1949)

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pp. 108-135

When Langston Hughes writes, “I am ashamed for the black poet who says ‘I want to be a poet, not a Negro poet,’ as though his own racial world were not as interesting as any other world,” he highlights a devaluation of self and community that, he is arguing, has too frequently characterized Black...

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Editorial Federalism: The Hoover Raids, the New Negro Renaissance, and the Origins of FBI Literary Surveillance

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pp. 136-159

Thanks to disclosures forced by the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we now can see that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) kept an eye peeled on the Harlem Renaissance. And that it trained on the builders of this movement, the laboratory of Afro- modernism, its legendary system for archiving and exploiting the results of intelligence ...

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Loosening the Straightjacket: Rethinking Racial Representation in African American Anthologies

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pp. 160-174

Right now, I am preparing a major anthology of African American literature spanning from the eighteenth century until the present. To be published by Wiley-Blackwell, the anthology requires the consideration of several intellectual and editorial issues, such as the historical value of certain literary...

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“Let the World Be a Black Poem”: Some Problems of Recollecting and Editing Black Arts Texts

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pp. 175-187

My entrée into editorial theory was the direct result of my interest in cultural history and the practical problems of presenting and teaching my work on the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, including selecting, assembling, and contextualizing texts for a Black Arts reader with my coeditors...

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Textual Productions of Black Aesthetics Unbound,

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pp. 188-209

The paratext of the first book, in African American literature, with the title “Black Power”—Richard Wright’s 1954 travel narrative—reframes the frame of slave narratives and makes readers wade in the water before entering the text proper. Instead of the typical words “as written by himself ” or...

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pp. 211-214


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pp. 215-217


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pp. 219-236

E-ISBN-13: 9780472028924
E-ISBN-10: 0472028928
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472118632
Print-ISBN-10: 0472118633

Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 2 Figures, 1 Halftone
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Editorial Theory and Literary Criticism
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OCLC Number: 829243628
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Publishing Blackness

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • American literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc.
  • Criticism, Textual.
  • American literature -- African American authors -- Publishing -- History.
  • Literature publishing -- Political aspects -- United States -- History.
  • African Americans -- Intellectual life.
  • African Americans in literature.
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