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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Violating Maternity: Servitude, Sexual Abuse, Lynching And The (Un)Making Of The Black Maternal Subject, Michele Sharon Frank Jan 2015

Violating Maternity: Servitude, Sexual Abuse, Lynching And The (Un)Making Of The Black Maternal Subject, Michele Sharon Frank

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

VIOLATING MATERNITY: SERVITUDE, SEXUAL ABUSE, LYNCHING AND THE (UN)MAKING OF THE BLACK MATERNAL SUBJECT

Michele Sharon Frank

Herman Beavers

This dissertation argues that African American women writers have identified the black maternal figure as a primary symbol of black cultural trauma. Through an examination of selected texts from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, I isolate writers’ and dramatists’ explorations of servitude, sexual abuse and lynching as systemic, historical violations of blackness and womanhood that have shaped black women’s maternal experiences. African American women writers’ depictions of black women’s experience of and resistance to such systemic violations of ...


Staging Civil Rights: African American Literature, Performance, And Innovation, Julius B. Fleming Jr Jan 2014

Staging Civil Rights: African American Literature, Performance, And Innovation, Julius B. Fleming Jr

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation examines the relationship between African American literature and performance during the modern Civil Rights Movement. It traces the ways in which the movement was acted out on the theatrical stage as creatively as it was at those sites of embodied activism that have survived in intellectual and popular memories: lunch counters and buses, schools and courtrooms, streets and prisons. Whereas television and photography have served as primary ways of knowing the movement, this project turns to African American literature, and the live performances it inspired, to provide a more complex framework for analyzing the movement's cultural arm ...


Toni Morrison: The Struggle To Depict The Black Figure On The White Page, Timothy B. Powell Jan 1990

Toni Morrison: The Struggle To Depict The Black Figure On The White Page, Timothy B. Powell

Departmental Papers (Religious Studies)

This problem of how to represent the black self on the white page, how to overcome the inherent ethnocentrism of the Western literary tradition, is one with which both the critic and the novelist of Afro-American literature must struggle to come to terms. As Gates points out, it is a tradition which dates all the way back to Plato's metaphor of the soul -of a white horse which is described as a "follower of true glory" and another, "of a dark color," which in turn attempts to lead the soul "to do terrible and unlawful deeds." For those who ...