Whispered Consolations: Law and Narrative in African American Life

الغلاف الأمامي
University of Michigan Press, 10‏/12‏/2009 - 416 من الصفحات
African Americans have experienced life under the rule of law in quite different contexts from those of whites, and they have written about those differences in poems, songs, stories, autobiographies, novels, and memoirs. This book examines the tradition of American law as it appears in African American literary life, from pre-Revolutionary murder trials to gangsta rap. The experience, and the critique it produces, changes our pictures of both American law and African American literature.
This study reads the already canonical works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black literature in the context of their responses to and critiques of American legal history. At the same time, it examines little known texts of African American life, from the urban humor of James D. Corrothers, through the early political essays of Chester Himes, to the adventures of black comic book heroes like Steel, Wise Son, and Xero. These are contextualized within specific legislation and case law, from the slave laws of early Virginia to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, from the case of Phillis and Mark in 1755 to the Simpson trials of the mid 1990s.
Finally, the legal texts presented are themselves critiqued by the fictions and legal analyses of the African Americans who lived out their implications in their daily lives. Through a positing of the legal and cultural concepts of privacy, property, identity, desire and citizenship, and the romantic ideals of authenticity, irony, and innocence, Suggs is able to show how our understanding of American law should be influenced by African American conceptions of it as depicted through literature.
This book will appeal to students and scholars of literary and cultural studies, law and literature, American history, as well as to scholars of African American literature and culture.
Jon-Christian Suggs is Professor of English, John Jay College, City University of New York.

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المحتوى

Signifying Epistemology and Ontology in Law and African American Narrative or A House of Laws on Fire
1
1 In Search of Justice and Jurisprudence
19
2 Romance and Resistance
43
3 The Romance of Desire and Identity
77
4 Privacy Property and Self
111
5 Law and the Urbanization of Narrative in Postproperty African American Life
145
6 Lynchings and Passing
171
7 Resistance in Renascence
203
8 At the End of Histories
235
The Reemergence of Desire and the Postclassical Narrative or HooDoo and HowTo
285
Notes
325
References
371
Index
391
حقوق النشر

طبعات أخرى - عرض جميع المقتطفات

عبارات ومصطلحات مألوفة

مقاطع مشهورة

الصفحة 350 - Could I embody and unbosom now, That which is most within me, — could I wreak My thoughts upon expression, and thus throw Soul, heart, mind, passions, feelings, strong or weak, All that I would have sought, and all I seek, Bear, know, feel, and yet breathe — into one word, And that one word were lightning, I would speak ; But as it is, I live and die unheard, [sword.
الصفحة 33 - A slave is one who is in the power of a master to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, dispose of his person, his industry, and his labor. He can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire anything, but what must belong to his master.
الصفحة 97 - The romantic stands, on the other hand, for the things that, with all the facilities in the world, all the wealth and all the courage and all the wit and all the adventure, we never can directly know; the things that can reach us only through the beautiful circuit and subterfuge of our thought and our desire...
الصفحة 190 - All the while I understood that it was not discouragement or fear or search for a larger field of action and opportunity that was driving me out of the Negro race. I knew that it was shame, unbearable shame. Shame at being identified with a people that could with impunity be treated worse than animals.
الصفحة 27 - Hester, he took her into the kitchen, and stripped her from neck to waist, leaving her neck, shoulders, and back, entirely naked. He then told her to cross her hands, calling her at the same time ad db —h. After crossing her hands, he tied them with a strong rope, and led her to a stool under a large hook in the joist, put in for the purpose. He made her get upon the stool, and tied her hands to the hook.
الصفحة 335 - ... only an assumption not warranted by anything in the Constitution, but contradicted by its opening declaration, that it was ordained and established by the people of the United States, for themselves and their posterity. And as free colored persons were then citizens of at least five States, and so in every sense part of the people of the United States, they were among those for whom and whose posterity the Constitution was ordained and established.
الصفحة 28 - He then told her to cross her hands, calling her at the same time ad — db — h. After crossing her hands, he tied them with a strong rope, and led her to a stool under a large hook in the joist, put in for the purpose. He made her get upon the stool, and tied her hands to the hook. She now stood fair for his infernal purpose.
الصفحة 98 - No one will do this for us; we must ourselves develop the men and women who will faithfully portray the inmost thoughts and feelings of the Negro with all the fire and romance which lie dormant in our history, and, as yet, unrecognized by writers of the Anglo-Saxon race.
الصفحة 63 - Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me man ? Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me...

نبذة عن المؤلف (2009)

Jon-Christian Suggs is Professor of English, John Jay College, City University of New York.

معلومات المراجع