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Wallace Thurman’s The Blacker the Berry and the Question of the Emancipatory City


Focusing on the representation of Harlem, I examine how Wallace Thurman’s 1929 The Blacker the Berry explicitly challenges the notion of “the emancipatory city” while emphasizing the spatial aspect of subject formation. Thurman underscores both the city’s liberating potential and its simultaneous tendency to reinforce dominant normative schemes.

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