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The Careys of Chicago
During most of the twentieth century, Archibald J. Carey, Sr. (1868-1931) and Archibald J. Carey, Jr. (1908-1981), father and son, exemplified a blend of ministry and politics that many African American religious leaders pursued. Their sacred and secular concerns merged in efforts to improve the spiritual and material well-being of their congregations. But as political alliances became necessary, both wrestled with moral consequences and varied outcomes. Both were ministers to Chicago's largest African Methodist Episcopal Church congregations- the senior Carey as a bishop, and the junior Carey as a pastor and an attorney. Bishop Carey associated himself mainly with Chicago mayor William Hale Thompson, a Republican, whom he presented to black voters as an ally. When the mayor appointed Carey to the city's civil service commission, Carey helped in the hiring and promotion of local blacks. But alleged impropriety for selling jobs marred the bishop's tenure. The junior Carey, also a Republican and an alderman, became head of the panel on anti-discrimination in employment for the Eisenhower administration. He aided innumerable black federal employees. Although an influential benefactor of CORE and SCLC, Carey associated with notorious FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and compromised support for Martin Luther King, Jr. Both Careys believed politics offered clergy the best opportunities to empower the black population. Their imperfect alliances and mixed results, however, proved the complexity of combining the realms of spirituality and politics.
Vol. 43 (2009) through current issue
As the official publication of the Division on Black American Literature and Culture of the Modern Language Association, the quarterly journal African American Review promotes a lively exchange among writers and scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences who hold diverse perspectives on African American literature and culture.
From Reconstruction to the Harlem Renaissance
In identifying Jim Crow with the coming of modernity, Smethurst focuses on how artists reacted to the system’s racial territorialization, especially in urban areas, with migration narratives, poetry about the black experience, and black performance of popular culture forms such as ragtime and vaudeville. He shows how black writers such as Fenton Johnson and William Stanley Braithwaite circulated some of the earliest and strongest ideas about an American “bohemia.” Smethurst also upsets the customary assessment of the later Harlem Renaissance as the first and primary site of a nationally significant black arts movement by examining the influence of these earlier writers and artists on the black and white modernists who followed. In so doing, Smethurst brings forward a host of understudied figures while recontextualizing the work of canonical authors such as Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and James Weldon Johnson. As such, Smethurst positions his work as part of the current growing intellectual conversation about the nature of African American literature and culture between Reconstruction and the Harlem Renaissance. Far from being a “nadir” period, Smethurst argues, this period saw black artists creating cultural forms from which issued some of the most significant literary works of the twentieth century.
The Influence of Family and School
Acknowledging the disparity between the number of African American high school students who aspire toward higher education and the number who actually attend, this book uncovers factors that influence African American students’ decisions regarding college. Kassie Freeman brings new insights to the current body of research on African Americans and higher education by examining the impact that family, school, community, and home have in the decision-making process. She explores specific factors that contribute to a student’s predisposition toward higher education, including gender, economics, and high school curriculum, and seeks to bridge the gap in understanding why aspiration does not immediately translate into participation. Educators and policy makers interested in increasing African American students’ participation in higher education will benefit from the exploration of this paradox.
Putting Theory into Everyday Practice
African American women and men share their stories of how feminism has influenced their daily lives. How might ordinary people apply feminist principles to everyday situations? How do feminist ideas affect the daily behaviors and decisions of those who seek to live out the basic idea that women are as fully human as men? This collection of essays uses concrete examples to illuminate the ways in which African Americans practice feminism on a day-to-day basis. Demonstrating real-life situations of feminism in action, each essay tackles an issue—such as personal finances, parenting, sexual harassment, reproductive freedom, incest, depression and addiction, or romantic relationships—and articulates a feminist approach to engaging with the problem or concern. Contributors include African American scholars, artists, activists, and business professionals who offer personal accunts of how they encountered feminist ideas and are using them now as a guide to living. The essays included reveal how feminist principles affect people’s perceptions of their ability to change themselves and society, because the personal is not always self-evidently political.
The repression historically faced by African Americans has had an important effect on the nature of the group's participation in foreign affairs. This book offers a much-needed and long-overdue survey of the field, setting the stage for further exploration and analysis.
Chapters discuss the Congressional Black Caucus and TransAfrica Forum; African American political organizations and Africa; Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice; the evaporation of strong black voices in events such as those in Rwanda and Darfur; and self-critical Pan Africanism. A prologue by Michael L. Clemons and introductory chapter by Ronald W. Walters provide new ways to conceptualize these international perspectives, while Clemons's epilogue speculates on the opportunities and challenges offered by the presidency of Barack Obama.
The history of South Texas is more racially and ethnically complex than many people realize. As a border area, South Texas has experienced some especially interesting forms of racial and ethnic intersection, influenced by the relatively small number of blacks (especially in certain counties), the function and importance of the South Texas cattle trade, proximity to Mexico, and the history of anti-black violence. The essays in African Americans in South Texas History give insight into this fascinating history. The articles in this volume, written over a span of almost three decades, were chosen for their readability, scholarship, and general interest. Contributors: Jennifer Borrer Edward Byerly Judith Kaaz Doyle Rob Fink Robert A. Goldberg Kenneth Wayne Howell Larry P. Knight Rebecca A. Kosary David Louzon Sarah R. Massey Jeanette Nyda Mendelssohn Passty Janice L. Sumler-Edmond Cary D. Wintz Rue Wood " . . . a valuable addition to the literature chronicling the black experience in the land of the Lone Star. While previous studies have concentrated on regions most reflective of Dixie origins, this collection examines the tri-ethnic area of Texas adjoining Mexico wherein cotton was scarce and cattle plentiful. Glasrud has assembled an excellent group of essays from which readers will learn much."-L. Patrick Hughes, professor of history, Austin Community College
Offers important new perspectives on the African Diaspora in North America. Drawing on the work of social scientists from geographic, historical, sociological, and political science perspectives, this volume offers new perspectives on the African Diaspora in the United States and Canada. It has been approximately four centuries since the first Africans set foot in North America, and although it is impossible for any text to capture the complete Black experience on the continent, the persistent legacy of Black inequality and the winds of dramatic change are inseparable parts of the current African Diaspora experience. In addition to comparing and contrasting the experiences and geographic patterns of the African Diaspora in the United States and Canada, the book also explores important distinctions between the experiences of African Americans and those of more recent African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants.
Toni Morrison herself has long urged for organic critical readings of her works. K. Zauditu-Selassie delves deeply into African spiritual traditions, clearly explaining the meanings of African cosmology and epistemology as manifest in Morrison's novels. The result is a comprehensive, tour-de-force critical investigation of such works as The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Paradise, Love, Beloved, and Jazz.
While others have studied the African spiritual ideas and values encoded in Morrison's work, African Spiritual Traditions in the Novels of Toni Morrison is the most comprehensive. Zauditu-Selassie explores a wide range of complex concepts, including African deities, ancestral ideas, spiritual archetypes, mythic trope, and lyrical prose representing African spiritual continuities.
Zauditu-Selassie is uniquely positioned to write this book, as she is not only a literary critic but also a practicing Obatala priest in the Yoruba spiritual tradition and a Mama Nganga in the Kongo spiritual system. She analyzes tensions between communal and individual values and moral codes as represented in Morrison's novels. She also uses interviews with and nonfiction written by Morrison to further build her critical paradigm.