The Contemporary African American Novel
Its Folk Roots and Modern Literary Branches
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
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Memoir: On Becoming an African American Scholar Activist
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EVERYTHING now, we must assume, is in our hands,"African American gay novelist, playwright, and essayist James Baldwin reminded us in the biblical and black spiritual jeremiad at the end of The Fire Next Time (1963); "we have no right to assume otherwise. If we--and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious...
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THE Contemporary African American Novel: Its Folk Roots and Modern Literary Branches is a sociohistorical, sociocultural, and sociopsychological critical history of the contemporary African American novel as a socially symbolic act of cultural politics and narrative discourse. The strategic essentialism and oppositional discourse for interpreting African...
1 / Mapping the Rhetoric, Politics, and Poetics of Representation in the Contemporary African American Novel
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IF it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, then it must be a duck. This well-known folksaying, with its focus on knowledge acquired by perceptions of the bodies and behavior of others, is true on one level for many people. But as demonstrated by RuPaul, the successful black drag queen talk-show host; by Chester Himes, the social and sexual...
2 / The Roots of the Contemporary African American Novel
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THE quest of early African American novelists to define, chronicle, and celebrate imaginatively the experiences of black people in the United States was influenced by the impact of societal and ideological anti-black racism on the development of their distinctive hybrid culture and double consciousness. This chapter will therefore survey the sociohistorical, sociocultural, and sociopsychological landscape of the double consciousness of...
3 / Mapping the Peaks and Valleys of the African American Novel (1853-1962)
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IN contrast to The Afro-American Novel and Its Tradition, which closely examines the symbolic and vernacular patterns of selected novels published between 1853 and 1962, this chapter will primarily map the peaks and valleys of the tradition of the African American novel and highlight its different branches during this time. The first third of the chapter includes the...
4 / Forms of Neorealism: Critical and Poetic Realism (1962-1983)
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REBELLION or revolution--that was the burning question of the 1960s. Whether the cry was "We Shall Overcome," "Power to the people!" or "Burn, baby, burn!" black and white voices were raised in protest against racism, poverty, war, corruption, and sexism. Many Americans were deeply disillusioned by the moral bankruptcy of their...
5 / Modernism and Postmodernism (1962-1983)
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SPEAKING at Gettysburg during the centennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson said, "Until justice is blind, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact."1 Two years after his succession to the presidency...
6 / Continuity and Change in Ethnic Tropes of Identity Formation (1983-2001)
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BETWEEN 1983 and 2001 African Americans continued their dynamic, dialectic role as agents for change in the identity formation of ethnic Americans and other people around the globe.1 Although the predominantly middle-class and middle-aged NAACP leadership was deeply divided by ideological, economic, and generational differences over the...
7 / The New Black Aesthetic: Eurocentric Metafiction and African Americentric Tropes of Transcultural Identity and Community (1983-2001)
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THE national census of 2000 confirms the growing potential power shift in the demographics of the United States to immigrants and native-born people generally called Latinos (i.e., citizens and non-citizens from North, Central, and South American nations of Spanish and various ethnic mixtures) as the largest ethnic political coalition in the nation.
8 / Contemporary African American Paraliterature: Science/Speculative Fiction, Gay/Lesbian, and Detective/Mystery Novels and Romances (1983-2001)
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THE 1980s and 1990s marked a renaissance in the tradition of the African American novel. On one hand, we witnessed the extraordinary critical success of Alice Walker, Gloria Naylor, Charles Johnson, and Toni Morrison for their experiments with nonrepresentational modernism and antirepresentational postmodernism.1 On the other hand, with...
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STORYTELLING is nearly as old and fundamental to our human identity as life itself. Historically, the human quest of peoples around the globe to tell their own stories and sing their own songs is consistent with their desire to affirm the importance of the relationship between language, knowledge, and power in personal and collective self-determination...
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Index [Includes Back Cover]
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Page Count: 488
Publication Year: 2004