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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Mamie Bradley's Unbearable Burden: Sexual And Aesthetic Politics In Bebe Moore Campbell's Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, Koritha Mitchell Jan 2008

Mamie Bradley's Unbearable Burden: Sexual And Aesthetic Politics In Bebe Moore Campbell's Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, Koritha Mitchell

Koritha Mitchell

This essay offers a reading of Bebe Moore Campbell's 1992 novel Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, which re-imagines the 1955 murder of Emmett Till and its aftermath. I argue that the novel is a tribute to Till and his mother, Mamie Bradley, but that it also illustrates the agony of being the survivor whose pain occasions such tributes. Through Delotha Todd, the character loosely based on Bradley, Campbell imagines the mother's burden to have been especially unbearable because so many strangers, including Campbell herself, claimed to share it. In the process of acknowledging the many facets Delotha ...


Tragic No More?: The Reappearance Of The Racially Mixed Character, Suzanne W. Jones Jan 2008

Tragic No More?: The Reappearance Of The Racially Mixed Character, Suzanne W. Jones

English Faculty Publications

During the nineteenth century and early in the twentieth, the tragic mulatto/a figured prominently in American fiction, only to recede after the Harlem Renaissance when African-American writers called for "race pride" and racial solidarity and to disappear entirely in the late 1960s after the Black Power movement ushered in racially conscious concepts such as "Black Is Beautiful." Since 1990, however, the mixed black-white character has made a significant comeback in American fiction. Contemporary representations suggest that choosing one's racial identity is only slightly less difficult than it used to be because of American society's conflation of skin ...


Black Girl In Paris: Shay Youngblood's Escape From "The Last Plantation", Suzanne W. Jones Jan 2008

Black Girl In Paris: Shay Youngblood's Escape From "The Last Plantation", Suzanne W. Jones

English Faculty Publications

Twentieth-century African-American writers have shared with their white American counterparts the expectation that in Paris they would find an community of writers and artists. And to varying degrees each did. Much like Edith Wharton, African-American writers viewed the French as a people who value art and creativity, the aesthete and the intellectual. And much like American writers from Hawthorne to Henry Miller, African-American expatriates viewed Paris as an "outlet for repressed sexuality," an unpuritanical place, which would allow, even encourage, people to live and love and create as the pleased. In Black Girl in Paris (2000) these are certainly the ...


Writing The Wrongs : A Comparison Of Two Female Slave Narratives, Miya Hunter-Willis Jan 2008

Writing The Wrongs : A Comparison Of Two Female Slave Narratives, Miya Hunter-Willis

Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

This thesis compares slave narratives written by Mattie J. Jackson and Kate Drumgoold. Both narrators recalled incidents that showed how slavery and the environment during the Reconstruction period created physical and psychological obstacles for women. Each narrator challenged the Cult of True Womanhood by showing that despite the stereotypes created to keep them subordinate there were African American women who successfully used their knowledge of white society to circumvent a system that tried to keep their race enslaved. Despite the 30 years that separate the publication of these two narratives, the legacy of education attainment emerges as a key part ...


Crooning On The Fault Lines: Theorizing Jazz And Pop Vocal Singing Discourse In The Rock Era, 1955-1978, Vincent L. Stephens Dec 2007

Crooning On The Fault Lines: Theorizing Jazz And Pop Vocal Singing Discourse In The Rock Era, 1955-1978, Vincent L. Stephens

Vincent L Stephens

The critical boundaries drawn between pop crooning and jazz singing are less discrete than commonly perceived by critics and historians. Commercial choices rather than clear-cut aesthetic differences have influenced classifications of non-improvisers like Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee as “jazz” singers, a category presumed to represent the ultimate in vocal interpretation. Comparatively, singers like Johnny Mathis and Barbra Streisand are aesthetically similar to prerock crooners (PRCs) but typically understood as pop singers and thus on a lower interpretive tier. This article interrogates the binary by examining the overlaps and divergences between PRCs whose recording careers (mostly) began during the big ...