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Articles 1 - 30 of 42

Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

The Sigh Of Triple Consciousness: Blacks Who Blurred The Color Line In Films From The 1930s Through The 1950s, Audrey Phillips May 2019

The Sigh Of Triple Consciousness: Blacks Who Blurred The Color Line In Films From The 1930s Through The 1950s, Audrey Phillips

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis will identify an over looked subset of racial identity as seen through film narratives from the 1930’s through the 1950’s pre-Civil Rights era. The subcategory of racial identity is the necessity of passing for Black people then identified as Negro. The primary film narratives include Veiled Aristocrats (1932), Lost Boundaries (1949), Pinky (1949) and Imitation of Life (1934). These images will deploy the troupe of passing as a racialized historical image. These films depict the pain and anguish Passers endured while escaping their racial identity. Through these stories we identify, sympathize and understand the needs of ...


Against Criminalization And Pathology: The Making Of A Black Achievement Praxis, Charles M. Green Sr. Sep 2018

Against Criminalization And Pathology: The Making Of A Black Achievement Praxis, Charles M. Green Sr.

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Utilizing 29 in-depth semi-structured interviews, the life-course narratives of Black male scholars who, as victims of varying manifestations of structural violence, have “beat the odds” academically. Findings suggest that Black men and boys benefit from positive, racially-informed socialization that assists in the development of an internalized identity that (a) acts as a protective and resistant barrier against some of the impediments of institutional racism, (b) operates as a counter-criminogenic influence, and (c) facilitates educational resilience. Criminogenic Resistance Theory (C.RT) is presented as an alternative conceptualization of the process by which Black boys resist the criminogenic influences of structuralized violence.


Insurgent Knowledge: The Poetics And Pedagogy Of Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, And Adrienne Rich In The Era Of Open Admissions, Danica B. Savonick May 2018

Insurgent Knowledge: The Poetics And Pedagogy Of Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, And Adrienne Rich In The Era Of Open Admissions, Danica B. Savonick

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Insurgent Knowledge analyzes the reciprocal relations between teaching and literature in the work of Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Toni Cade Bambara, and Adrienne Rich, all of whom taught in the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) educational opportunity program at the City University of New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Drawing on archival research and analysis of their published work, I show how feminist aesthetics have shaped U.S. education (especially student-centered pedagogical practices) and how classroom encounters with students had a lasting impact on our postwar literary landscape and theories of difference. My project demonstrates ...


Progressive Commemoration: Public Statues Of Historical Women In Urban American Cities, Melanie D. Chin May 2018

Progressive Commemoration: Public Statues Of Historical Women In Urban American Cities, Melanie D. Chin

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Women who made notable accomplishments are underrepresented in commemoration. Some American cities have brought women to the forefront of becoming visible through commemoration in statues. This thesis compares the commemoration of historical women in four different American cities. Stakeholders hold the key to implementing and changing public policy to increase the visibility of women and people of color in public monuments. Cities which lack representation of women and people of color may learn from and follow the efforts of a leading city to achieve lasting and effective change in representing those who historically been underrepresented.


Tracing Dominican Attitudes Towards Race: A Historical Analysis, Marcos Polonia May 2018

Tracing Dominican Attitudes Towards Race: A Historical Analysis, Marcos Polonia

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The common misconception is that all Dominicans are racist – that Dominicans live in a Fanonesque reality where we believe we are white, but we clearly inhabit black bodies. These attitudes permeate Dominican society from the highest echelons of power to the everyday experiences of Dominicans on the street. The notion that Dominicans are racist is widespread among Latinos and African-Americans as well. Recently, global attention was focused on the Dominican Republic as the country changed its constitution in order to prevent Dominicans of Haitian descent from becoming Dominican citizens. But, where do these notions of race come from? This thesis ...


Black Business As Activism: Ebony Magazine And The Civil Rights Movement, Seon Britton May 2018

Black Business As Activism: Ebony Magazine And The Civil Rights Movement, Seon Britton

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In the fight for justice, equality, and true liberation, African American organizations and institutions have often acted as a voice for the African American community at large focusing on common issues and concerns. With the civil rights movement being broadcast across the world, there was no better time for African American community and civil rights organizations to take a role within the movement in combatting the oppression, racism, and discrimination of white supremacy. Often left out of this history of the civil rights movement is an analysis of black-owned private businesses, also giving shape to the African American community. Black ...


Pawns Of Policy And Problematized Perception: The Sustainability Of Inequality Through The Space Of African-American Childhood, Jen-I S. Costosa May 2018

Pawns Of Policy And Problematized Perception: The Sustainability Of Inequality Through The Space Of African-American Childhood, Jen-I S. Costosa

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

African American children are simultaneously entrapped by the construct of race and while excluded from the construct of childhood. Race has bifurcated the timeline(s) and bastion of childhood in which one has clear milestones and expectations and the other is nonlinear, fickle, and subject to a suspicious gaze. Recent research describes this phenomenon as “dehumanization”, “age overestimation”, and “adultification.” However, the aforementioned classifications of African American children’s’ experience presents the assumption in which this particular group would first have to be viewed both as human and also as a child, which is arguable. Policy, both children centric and ...


The Tuskegee Revolt: Student Activism, Black Power, And The Legacy Of Booker T. Washington, Brian P. Jones May 2018

The Tuskegee Revolt: Student Activism, Black Power, And The Legacy Of Booker T. Washington, Brian P. Jones

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“The Tuskegee Revolt: Student Activism, Black Power, and the Legacy of Booker T. Washington” is a historical study of a student movement that challenged prevailing educational and political ideas in the nation’s most ideologically important historically black university. The late 1960s student movement at Tuskegee Institute played a significant off-campus role in shaping local, regional, and national social movements and politics. In the process, these Tuskegee students turned their attention back on-campus, and attempted to radically revise their school’s educational framework. Founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881, Tuskegee Institute represents the origin of a particular (and recurring ...


Race, Sexuality, And Masculinity On The Down Low, Stephen Kochenash Feb 2018

Race, Sexuality, And Masculinity On The Down Low, Stephen Kochenash

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In a so-called post-racial America, a new gay identity has flourished and come into the limelight. However, in recent years, researchers have concluded that not all men who have sex with other men (MSM) self-identify as gay, most noticeably a large population of Black men. It is possible that a tainted history of Black enslavement in this country that is inextricably linked with ideas of space, surveillance, subversion, and survival inform a Black male’s self-identification as being “on the down low” (DL). This begs the question: What does mainstream society view as gay-ness and how is the DL ...


Providential Capitalism: Heavenly Intervention And The Atlantic’S Divine Economist, Ian F.P. Green Jun 2017

Providential Capitalism: Heavenly Intervention And The Atlantic’S Divine Economist, Ian F.P. Green

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Providential capitalism names the marriage of providential Christian values and market-oriented capitalist ideology in the post-revolutionary Atlantic through the mid nineteenth century. This is a process by which individuals permitted themselves to be used by a so-called “divine economist” at work in the Atlantic market economy. Backed by a slave market, capital transactions were rendered as often violent ecstatic individual and cultural experiences. Those experiences also formed the bases for national, racial, and classed identification and negotiation among the constellated communities of the Atlantic. With this in mind, writers like Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, and Ukawsaw Gronniosaw presented market success ...


Black Models Matter: Challenging The Racism Of Aesthetics And The Facade Of Inclusion In The Fashion Industry, Scarlett L. Newman Jun 2017

Black Models Matter: Challenging The Racism Of Aesthetics And The Facade Of Inclusion In The Fashion Industry, Scarlett L. Newman

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The global fashion market is expanding every day, but often, the global fashion runways do not reflect that reality. On average, black models make up for six percent of models used on the runway during the fashion month calendar. This small percentage is also mirrored in advertisements and editorials featured in popular fashion magazines. In the 1970s, black models were met with great opportunities, and that success trickled down into the 1980s and the 1990s. As the 90s came to a close, top designers opted for an aesthetic that ultimately excluded models of color, but black models beared the brunt ...


"Propaganda For Democracy": The Vexed History Of The Federal Theatre Project, Karen E. Gellen Jun 2017

"Propaganda For Democracy": The Vexed History Of The Federal Theatre Project, Karen E. Gellen

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My thesis explores and analyzes the Federal Theater Project’s cultural and political impact during the Depression, as well as the contested legacy of this unique experiment in government-sponsored, broadly accessible cultural expression. Part of the New Deal’s Works Projects Administration, the FTP aimed to provide jobs for playwrights, actors, designers, stagehands, and other theater professionals on relief in the stark period from 1935 to 1939. But the project became a nationwide political and artistic flashpoint, spurring fierce debate over the leadership, politics and impact of this “people’s theater.” The FTP gave professional theater an unprecedented reach into ...


The Legacy Of Slavery And The Continued Marginalization Of Communities Of Color Within The Legal System, Julia N. Alvarez Jun 2017

The Legacy Of Slavery And The Continued Marginalization Of Communities Of Color Within The Legal System, Julia N. Alvarez

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The aim of this thesis paper is to demonstrate how the history of slavery in the United States continues to marginalize communities of color. The history of slavery in America was the result of various factors. Some of these factors included but were not limited to; economic, legal, and social. Slavery provided a reliable and self-reproducing workforce. The laws enacted during slavery ensured the continuation of the social order of the time. This social order was based on the generalized understanding that blacks were born into servitude. Those born into slavery were not given the same legal or economic status ...


Reimagining The Collective: Black Popular Music And Recording Studio Innovation, 1970-1990, Will Fulton Jun 2017

Reimagining The Collective: Black Popular Music And Recording Studio Innovation, 1970-1990, Will Fulton

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This dissertation examines developments in the production practices of black popular music in the recording studio from 1970 to 1990. The year 1970 marked a transition in the recording practice of popular music that had a distinct impact on styles marketed as R&B, soul, and funk. Multitracking in the 1950s and 1960s had paved the way for a transformed production process, one initiated by Les Paul’s and Sidney Bechet’s overdubbing experiments in the 1940s. The collective sound of instrumentalists and vocalists heard on records no longer resulted from live-to-tape recordings of group performances, but was increasingly the product of constructed representations, as separate layered events were cut to multitrack tape.

When mixed together, these overdubbed tracks presented the listener with the impression of collective, interactive performances. Features central to the ethos of R&B music making – vocals in call and response, instruments in apparent rhythmic dialogues, and funky syncopation usually resulting from interactive group dynamism – were increasingly the product of the technologically mediated process of overdubbing, and performed often by one musician singing all of the parts or layering several instruments. By 1990, in part due to the popularity of newly developed drum machines, MIDI sequencers, samplers, and digital synthesizers, to record collectively in R&B-based black popular music was the exception rather than the norm.

This study considers new practices of record production that developed in this era of multitrack recording and electronic experimentation through an examination of four case studies: Stevie Wonder’s recordings in the early 1970s; Prince’s recordings from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s; Michael Jackson’s composition and recording process from this same period; and the mid-to-late 1980s sampling and sequencing processes of Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad production collective. The producers of these recordings, well aware of the collective ethos of earlier black music styles, conceived imaginative ways ...


Beyond The Vale: Visualizing Slavery In Craven County, North Carolina, Marissa N. Kinsey Jun 2017

Beyond The Vale: Visualizing Slavery In Craven County, North Carolina, Marissa N. Kinsey

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Beyond the Vale is a data visualization project dedicated to the study of slavery in antebellum North Carolina. Focusing on Gooding’s Township, a rural farming community in the eastern county of Craven, it is designed to address basic questions about the experiences of the county’s antebellum enslaved population. These questions represent points of contention between local heritage narratives and the direct testimonies of former slaves. Where former slaves describe a complex, yet undeniably exploitative system in which they had only minimal control over their own lives, county literature echoes larger themes in North Carolina state scholarship by either ...


“The Monster They've Engendered In Me”: Gothic Strategies In African American And Latina/O Prison Literature, 1945-2000, Jason Baumann Feb 2017

“The Monster They've Engendered In Me”: Gothic Strategies In African American And Latina/O Prison Literature, 1945-2000, Jason Baumann

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Recent scholarship on American prison literature, such as Caleb Smith’s pivotal study The Prison in the American Imagination, has uncovered the power that the terrifying realities of the modern prison have had as an inspiration for the development of Gothic literature, as well as the ways that prison writers have in turn drawn upon these Gothic images. However, these scholars have considered prison writers as passively trapped by Gothic discourses that ultimately objectify them as monsters. In contrast, I will argue that African American and Latina/o prison writers in the post-war period have consciously transformed these Gothic themes ...


A Canada In The South: Marronage In Antebellum American Literature, Sean Gerrity Feb 2017

A Canada In The South: Marronage In Antebellum American Literature, Sean Gerrity

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This dissertation considers maroons—enslaved people who fled from slavery and self-exiled to places like swamps and forests—in the textual and historical worlds of the pre-Civil War United States. I examine a counter-archive of US literature that imagines marronage as offering alternate spaces of freedom, refuge, and autonomy outside the unidirectional South-to-North geographical trajectory of the Underground Railroad, which has often framed the story of freedom and unfreedom for African Americans in pre-1865 US literary and cultural studies. Broadly, I argue that through maroons we can locate alternate spaces of fugitive freedom within slaveholding territory, thereby complicating fixed notions ...


Toward A Reoriented Radicalism: Black Marxism And Orientalism, Alexandros Orphanides Feb 2017

Toward A Reoriented Radicalism: Black Marxism And Orientalism, Alexandros Orphanides

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The 21st century has witnessed the unquestioned supremacy of late capitalism. It holds coercive power over nation states; it generates increased inequality within countries and around the globe. It can, today, exploit everywhere at once. The poorest countries in the world reside in the Global South. Of the twenty poorest countries in the world, seventeen are in Africa; the rest are elsewhere in the Global South. Of the hundred poorest countries in world, over 95 percent are in the Global South. In the United States, Blacks, Latinos, and Indigenous people have poverty rates that greatly exceed the national average. Poverty ...


Sacred Freedom: Sustaining Afrocentric Spiritual Jazz In 21st Century Chicago, Adam Zanolini Sep 2016

Sacred Freedom: Sustaining Afrocentric Spiritual Jazz In 21st Century Chicago, Adam Zanolini

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This dissertation explores the historical and ideological headwaters of a certain form of Great Black Music that I call Afrocentric spiritual jazz in Chicago. However, that label is quickly expended as the work begins by examining the resistance of these Black musicians to any label. I theorize that this resistance is due to the experiences of Black history, throughout which labels have been used to enslave, exploit, and control people. I begin by discussing early musical labels, several important n-words, and then the innovation of African diasporic subjecthood and its labels. Then Black is examined, along with several corollary social ...


Engagement And Resistance: African Americans, Saudi Arabia And Islamic Transnationalisms, 1975 To 2000, Jeffrey Diamant Sep 2016

Engagement And Resistance: African Americans, Saudi Arabia And Islamic Transnationalisms, 1975 To 2000, Jeffrey Diamant

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Since the 1960s, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has financed missionary efforts to Muslims around the world, attempting to spread a Salafi form of Islam that professes strict adherence to Islamic sacred scripture. The effects of this transnational proselytization have depended on numerous factors in “host countries.” This project explores the various impacts of Saudi transnational religious influence in the United States among African-Americans. By relying on previously unused documentary sources and fresh oral histories, it shows how Saudi “soft power” attempted to effect change in religious practices of African-American Muslims from 1975 through 2000. It provides the most detailed ...


The Strains Of Confessional Poetry: The Burdens, Blunders, And Blights Of Self-Disclosure, Lara Rossana Rodriguez Sep 2016

The Strains Of Confessional Poetry: The Burdens, Blunders, And Blights Of Self-Disclosure, Lara Rossana Rodriguez

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When a provocative style of autobiographical verse had emerged in postwar America, literary critics christened the new genre “confessional poetry.” Confessional poets of the 1960s and ’70s are often characterized by scholars of contemporary poetry as a cohort of writers who, unlike previous generations before them, dared to explore in their work the personal and inherited traumas of mental illness, family suicides, failed marriages, and crushing addictions. As a result, the body of work these writers produced is often experienced as a collection of stylized, literary self-portraits. What can these self-portraits reveal to us about the connection between confessional poetry ...


Descent: American Individualism, American Blackness And The Trouble With Invention, Simone White Jun 2016

Descent: American Individualism, American Blackness And The Trouble With Invention, Simone White

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Descent is metacritical, ranging across disciplines to take up – as flash points or instances – failed attempts to revolutionize knowledge, considering these as descents, or movements into the deep, that remain stiff or un-poetic in their attitudes toward the American truisms “individualism,” “blackness” and “invention.” Beginning with William Carlos Williams’ formulation of descent (as a practice necessary for establishing national literary identity) in In the American Grain, the project resolves around the question, How can the critic make peace with her desire to dominate the object of critique by proposing its perpetual sameness in relation to the critic? In the context ...


What The Tides May Bring: Political "Tigueraje" Disposession And Popular Dissent In Samaná, Dominican Republic, Ryan A. Mann-Hamilton Jun 2016

What The Tides May Bring: Political "Tigueraje" Disposession And Popular Dissent In Samaná, Dominican Republic, Ryan A. Mann-Hamilton

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My dissertation is a historical and ethnographic project that delves into the conflictive relationship between the development of the Dominican state and the formation of the community of the port city of Samaná. The African diasporic community of Samaná has actively constructed the local space throughout shifting political projects, while sustaining their collective voices against the waves of dispossession crashing on their shores. Using a combination of archival research, participant observation, oral history and ethnography, I document multiple instances of state intervention to understand how the Samaná community has been coerced over time to consent to these processes. I juxtapose ...


Cosmopolitan Corporealities: Extraordinary Bodies And The Politics Of Remembering Mid-Twentieth Century Egyptian Pluralism, Balthazar Beckett Jun 2016

Cosmopolitan Corporealities: Extraordinary Bodies And The Politics Of Remembering Mid-Twentieth Century Egyptian Pluralism, Balthazar Beckett

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Mid-twentieth century Egypt is a pivotal site for our understanding of empire (both European and American) and of the construction of global identities. In order to critically examine the sustained nostalgia for a purportedly cosmopolitan Egyptian era, this dissertation stages a rereading of two canonical texts—Lawrence Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet (1957-60) and André Aciman’s Out of Egypt (1994)—in the context of their respective creations at the beginnings of the Cold War and the “war on terror.” Opposing predominant narratives that render Egyptian post-coloniality in terms of loss, this project will then point to alternative texts—primarily ...


Locked In: Melancholia In The Modern American Prison Literature Of R. Dwayne Betts And Jarvis Jay Masters, Johnna Scrabis Feb 2016

Locked In: Melancholia In The Modern American Prison Literature Of R. Dwayne Betts And Jarvis Jay Masters, Johnna Scrabis

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This thesis explores the theme of melancholia in the writing of currently and formerly incarcerated African American men during the late 20th and early 21st century. Melancholia, with its rich history in literature from ancient times to the present, is discernable in the works of many people with prison experience. In their writing, melancholia is expressed primarily as a loss and as a disconnection with time, as well as an empowering creative force. The work of Jarvis Jay Masters and R. Dwayne Betts reflects the paradox of melancholia: just as it shows the depressive element of the condition ...


The Fictions Of Whiteness: Transatlantic Race Science, Gender, Nationalism, And The Construction Of Race In Nineteenth-Century American Fiction (1823-1867), Philip E. Kadish Feb 2016

The Fictions Of Whiteness: Transatlantic Race Science, Gender, Nationalism, And The Construction Of Race In Nineteenth-Century American Fiction (1823-1867), Philip E. Kadish

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Fictions of Whiteness argues that political beliefs preceded and determined the race science theories which nineteenth century American white novelists applied or invoked in their work, the inverse of the current critical consensus. For issues ranging from Indian removal to slavery and Reconstruction, and utilizing theories from of Condorcet, Buffon, Camper, Louis Agassiz, James Pritchard, Johannes Blumenbach, and George Borrow these authors shifted allegiances to divergent race theories between and within works, applied those theories selectively to white, black, and Indians characters, and applied the same scientific race theories to politically divergent rhetorical ends. By analyzing shifting application of different ...


"The Planet Is The Way It Is Because Of The Scheme Of Words": Sun Ra And The Performance Of Reckoning, Maryam Ivette Parhizkar Sep 2015

"The Planet Is The Way It Is Because Of The Scheme Of Words": Sun Ra And The Performance Of Reckoning, Maryam Ivette Parhizkar

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This constellatory essay is a study of the African American sound experimentalist, thinker and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial Sun Ra (1914-1993) through samplings of his wide, interdisciplinary archive: photographs, film excerpts, selected recordings, and various interviews and anecdotes. In composing this essay, I particularly consider how these fragments resonate against each other, offering insight into how Ra radically subverts the restraints imposed upon him as a black man in the United States and thus transfigures his racial alienness into a liberatory, literally alien performance. This self-transfiguration allows Ra to transform such impossible restraints into a condition of possibility for reckoning. I consider ...


The Heterotopia Of Flight: Resisting The Domestic, Sarah Elizabeth Davis Sep 2015

The Heterotopia Of Flight: Resisting The Domestic, Sarah Elizabeth Davis

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The familiar image of a woman fleeing danger is a well-worn convention of heroine-centered fiction, a plot device inevitably resolved when the heroine returns safely to her home and family. This dissertation proposes a new reading of that narrative by asserting that rather than serving as a space of protection, the home poses the greatest threat to an individual's autonomy. If we understand the domestic as a space in which bodies are ordered and, more specifically, gendered, classed, and raced, the trope of flight from the domestic can be read as an act of resistance to subjugation. This act ...


Errant Memory In African American Literature Of The Long Nineteenth Century, Tristan Alexander Striker May 2015

Errant Memory In African American Literature Of The Long Nineteenth Century, Tristan Alexander Striker

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In this dissertation, I trace the complex black literary trope of errant memory through American and African American literature. Authors of African descent are constantly subjected to what I call Africanity, or the paratextual historicizing elements provided by white interlocutors that seek to impose specific caricatures and stereotypes on them and their works to force them into the American historical narrative that depends on their dehumanized and commodified status. These caricatures and stereotypes are rooted in an Africa imagined by these white interlocutors, one that does not match any reality. Authors of African descent transcend this paratextual Africanity through what ...


What Condoms Can't Cover: Do Structural Factors Predispose Black, African American, And Latina/O Adults In Harlem And The South Bronx To Engaging In Hiv Sex Risk Behaviors?, Fabienne Snowden May 2015

What Condoms Can't Cover: Do Structural Factors Predispose Black, African American, And Latina/O Adults In Harlem And The South Bronx To Engaging In Hiv Sex Risk Behaviors?, Fabienne Snowden

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More than thirty years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Black, African American, and Latina/o communities continue to demonstrate the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the US, accounting for 64% of all new infections and 58% of all AIDS diagnoses in 2009. Despite the longevity of this public health crisis, individually-based behavioral change approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention continue to be the most widely used and funded methods of combating HIV risk in Black, African American and Latina/o communities. These methods have been proven to lower the risk of HIV transmission, but HIV incidence in the US remains ...