Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Editor’s Note

Justin A. Joyce

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pp. vii-x

I never had the chance to meet Vincent Woodard personally. Working through someone’s scholarship backward and forward for nearly five years, however, gives you a type of intimate knowledge of the working of his or her mind. From both his work and the reminiscences of his friends, I feel I’ve come to know something of him ...

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Foreword

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pp. xi-xii

The Delectable Negro is a provocative reading of race relations vis-à-vis an almost indiscernible homoeroticism in the nineteenth century. According to Woodard, such homoeroticism was always already there, but “our contemporary framing of homosexuality has obscured our vision.” ...

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Introduction: “Master . . . eated me when I was meat”

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pp. 1-28

In the summer of 2007, I visited Somerset Place in Creswell, North Carolina.1 At one point, Somerset Place, a historically restored plantation, was the most successful plantation in North Carolina and its owner, Josiah Collins III, one of the largest slaveholders in the state. ...

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1. Cannibalism in Transatlantic Context

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pp. 29-58

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Europeans did not understand the extent to which western and central Africans regarded them as cannibals and flesh harvesters. In an 1849 exchange between Augustino (an African-born slave) and the Select Committee of the House of Lords, ...

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2. Sex, Honor, and Human Consumption

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pp. 59-94

Lilburn Lewis, a Kentucky slave owner, owned a considerable number of slaves whom he “drove constantly, fed sparingly, and lashed severely,” according to abolitionist Lydia Maria Child.1 Lewis was a typical plantation owner whom most in the local community probably respected and looked to as a model wealthy citizen in terms of his treatment of his slaves. ...

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3. A Tale of Hunger Retold: Ravishment and Hunger in F. Douglass’s Life and Writing

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pp. 95-126

Frederick Douglass described slavery, more eloquently than anyone else has, as a cannibalistic institution. In images striking and poetically resonant, he depicted slavery in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave as a personified “stern reality, glaring frightfully upon us,—its robes already crimsoned with the blood of millions, and even now feasting itself greedily upon our own flesh.”1 ...

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4. Domestic Rituals of Consumption

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pp. 127-170

David Walker, a major black abolitionist figure, acknowledged the capacity of slavery to consume black bodies and souls. In Walker’s Appeal, Walker depicts a plantation reality where black men suffer emasculation. They can neither protect their wives and children nor can they themselves escape the all-encompassing power of whites whose malicious hunger, ...

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5. Eating Nat Turner

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pp. 171-208

Most people do not readily associate Nat Turner, the heroic figure and slave insurrectionist, with the themes of auto-cannibalism (self-consumption), white male consumptive desires, or homoeroticism. These themes, however, strongly informed how Southampton, Virginia, whites punished Turner and treated his corpse after his public lynching. ...

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6. The Hungry Nigger

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pp. 209-240

At the end of the twentieth century, black gay men began to bravely articulate and embody a suppressed history and politics of the black, male orifice. For example, Essex Hemphill’s brazen anal-erotic manifesto, “Loyalty,” marked a historic moment in black sexual politics and cultural recovery. ...

Notes

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pp. 241-288

Bibliography

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pp. 289-302

Index

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pp. 303-308

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About the Author, About the Editor

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pp. 309-311

Vincent Woodard (1971–2008) was Assistant Professor of English at the University of Colorado–Boulder. He received his PhD in American Studies and English from the University of Texas, Austin. ...