Geographies of Race, Region, and Literature
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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INTRODUCTION: A Map of the Territory
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In “Entering the South,” Lucille Clifton transmutes the stark geographic metaphor that often appears as the landscape of the South for African Americans. The map she draws is a living one, alive in memory and in blood, but dead too in the literal skin of animals and in the material body of the mother. Luxury,...
CHAPTER 1. Southscapes: Race, Region, & Reclamation
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One of Marion Post Wolcott’s most recognizable photographs bears the description: Negro Going in Colored Entrance of Movie House on Saturday Afternoon, Belzoni, Mississippi Delta, Mississippi.1 The subject is a dramatic interplay of light and shadows, of sharp angles and flat surfaces, but more it is...
CHAPTER 2. Poverty & Porches: Controversial Mississippi
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“If South is a perspective as well as a direction, then the Mississippi Delta may well be the most southern place on earth,” Endesha Ida Mae Holland writes in the prologue to From the Mississippi Delta: A Memoir (1997).1 Her return to Greenwood, Mississippi, for a celebration of her achievement in arts and letters...
CHAPTER 3. Power & Profession: Richard Wright’s Mississippi & Its Expatriate Legacies
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In a speech presented on 2 June 1939, Langston Hughes told the Third Annual Writers’ Congress: “It is hard for a Negro to become a professional writer. Magazine offices, daily newspapers, publishers’ offices are tightly closed to us in America.”1 This assessment by the major black writer in America at the...
CHAPTER 4. Politics & Paysans: Multicultural Louisiana & the Space of the Créolité
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Any space occupied by people of African descent in the United States is contested. Escape to other places inevitably becomes marred by the floating signifiers of U.S. racial-spatial ideology, as Richard Wright discovered in the mid-twentieth century. Retracing Wright’s footsteps, Shay Youngblood...
CHAPTER 5. Parishes & Prisons: Ernest Gaines’s Louisiana & Its North Carolina Kin Space
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For Kein, there is little escape from the haunting legacy in Louisiana of “the perversion of color / as hoax, as cannon, as / dominion over the oneness / of all souls.”2 Creoles of Color “culled dignity / from a fragile freedom,” she recalls, and generations later, after emancipation, after Reconstruction, after...
CHAPTER 6. Alice Walker Matters: The Fruits of Gendered Space
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Alice Walker, that famous spirited Georgia native, certainly does not need a rehabilitation of her reputation. Yet, as I have been thinking about Southern Studies and scholarly production, I began to notice that Walker has slipped out of recent discourses and that her contribution to the ways in which we...
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This book has benefited from many generous friendships, old and new, professional and personal. In Nashville, Art and Helene Pellette, with Mary Elizabeth and Leah, enabled my work and dual residence with their care and commitment; Bill and Cecelia Tichi, David and Leah Marcus, and Sam and Scottie Girgus fed the body and the...
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Page Count: 456
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2011