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History and Memory in African-American Culture - Genevieve Fabre

History and Memory in African-American Culture

By: Genevieve Fabre (Editor), Robert O'Meally (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 15th December 1994
ISBN: 9780195083965
Number Of Pages: 336

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As Nathan Huggins once stated, altering American history to account fully for the nation's black voices would change the tone and meaning--the frame and the substance--of the entire story. Rather than a sort of Pilgrim's Progress tale of bold ascent and triumph, American history with the black parts told in full would be transmuted into an existential tragedy, closer, Huggins said, to Sartre's No Exit than to the vision of life in Bunyan.
The relation between memory and history has received increasing attention both from historians and from literary critics. In this volume, a group of leading scholars has come together to examine the role of historical consciousness and imagination in African-American culture. The result is a complex picture of the dynamic ways in which African-American historical identity constantly invents and transmits itself in literature, art, oral documents, and performances.
Each of the scholars represented has chosen a different "site of memory"--from a variety of historical and geographical points, and from different ideological, theoretical, and artistic perspectives. Yet the book is unified by a common concern with the construction of an emerging African-American cultural memory.
The renowned group of contributors, including Hazel Carby, Werner Sollors, VA]vA] Clark, Catherine Clinton, and Nellie McKay, among others, consists of participants of the five-year series of conferences at the DuBois Institute at Harvard University, from which this collection originated. Conducted under the leadership of GeneviA]ve Fabre, Melvin Dixon, and the late Nathan Huggins, the conferences--and as a result, this book--represent something of a cultural moment themselves, and scholars and students of American and African-American literature and history will be richer as a result.

"...an excellent collection of pieces that makes one more aware of the major markets and repositories of an African American identity and culture, while it helps one recognize the important role of contemporary, collective action in the shaping of that identity."--Journal of American Ethnic History "...an excellent collection of pieces that makes one more aware of the major markets and repositories of an African American identity and culture, while it helps one recognize the important role of contemporary, collective action in the shaping of that identity."--Journal of American Ethnic History

Introductionp. 3
The Black Writer's Use of Memoryp. 18
The Politics of Fiction, Anthropology, and the Folk: Zora Neale Hurstonp. 28
W. E. B. Du Bois and the Struggle for American Historical Memoryp. 45
African-American Commemorative Celebrations in the Nineteenth Centuryp. 72
National Identity and Ethnic Diversity: "Of Plymouth Rock and Jamestown and Ellis Island"; or, Ethnic Literature and Some Redefinitions of Americap. 92
International Beacons of African-American Memory: Alexandre Dumas pere, Henry O. Tanner, and Josephine Baker as Examples of Recognitionp. 122
On the Wrong Side of the Fence: Racial Segregation in American Cemeteriesp. 130
What One Cannot Remember Mistakenlyp. 150
History-Telling and Time: An Example from Kentuckyp. 164
Memory and Mass Culturep. 178
Performing the Memory of Difference in Afro-Caribbean Dance: Katherine Dunham's Choreography, 1938-87p. 188
"With a Whip in His Hand": Rape, Memory, and African-American Womenp. 205
Sherley Anne Williams' Dessa Rose: History and the Disruptive Power of Memoryp. 219
Art History and Black Memory: Toward a "Blues Aesthetic"p. 228
On Burke and the Vernacular: Ralph Ellison's Boomerang of Historyp. 244
The Journals of Charlotte L. Forten-Grimke: Les Lieux de Memoire in African-American Women's Autobiographyp. 261
Washington Parkp. 272
Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Memoirep. 284
Contributorsp. 301
Indexp. 303
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195083965
ISBN-10: 0195083962
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 15th December 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.77 x 16.05  x 2.67
Weight (kg): 0.69