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2008

Koritha Mitchell

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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 ...