Category: arna bontemps

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“African American Literature and the American South” Syllabus

Occasionally, I post syllabi ideas here on the blog. Today, I want to share a syllabus I have been thinking about recently entitled “African American Literature and the American South.” The South, as a geographic and imaginary space, looms large in the works of not just African American authors but in writers of all ethnic backgrounds from the United States. Maryemma Graham discusses the … Read More “African American Literature and the American South” Syllabus

Stuffed Lion in “Get Out”?

Finally, during its third week in theaters, I saw Get Out (2017). Plenty of people have commented on the film; however, there are two aspects of the film that I have not found anyone discussing: the stuffed lion that sits on the nightstand next to Rose Armitage’s bed and the use of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone”playing over the audience’s first introduction to Chris Washington as … Read More Stuffed Lion in “Get Out”?

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Arna Bontemps’s "Heathen at Home": Benevolence and Resistance

1938 by Carl Van Vechten Last post, I wrote about the lion and its symbolic nature in Arna Bontemps’ “Mr. Kelso’s Lion.” Today, I want to discuss “Heathen at Home,” another story from The Old South (1973). While reading “Heathen at Home,” my mind kept going back to Donna Lee in James Wilcox’s Modern Baptists (1983) and Hunk City (2007). In those novels, Donna … Read More Arna Bontemps’s "Heathen at Home": Benevolence and Resistance

The Lion’s Presence in Arna Bontemps’s "Mr. Kelso’s Lion"

At the beginning of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952), the narrator relates the story of his grandfather’s death and the lesson that the old man wanted his son to know. He told him, “Live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you to overcome ’em with yeses, undermine ’em with grins, agree ’em to death and destruction, let ’em swollen you till … Read More The Lion’s Presence in Arna Bontemps’s "Mr. Kelso’s Lion"

Top Five Posts from 2015!

As we start traversing our path through the new year, I want to take the opportunity to look back at some of my favorite posts from the past year. This retrospective will contain, in no particular order, the five posts that are my favorite from the 94 posts that appeared in 2015. The posts on this list will include ones from this blog as … Read More Top Five Posts from 2015!

NEH Summer Institute "Ernest J. Gaines and the Southern Experience"

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be a part of next year’s NEH Summer Institute, “Ernest J. Gaines and the Southern Experience.” The Ernest J. Gaines Center, in conjunction with the National Endowment of the Humanities, will host the summer institute in June 2016. The summer institute is a culmination of three years of work on programs geared towards bringing the works of Ernest … Read More NEH Summer Institute "Ernest J. Gaines and the Southern Experience"

Arna Bontemps’s "Drums at Dusk" and the Middle Passage

Over the past few months, I’ve been reading the works of Arna Bontemps. Just recently, I finished Drums at Dusk, Bontemps’s 1939 novel about the Haitian Revolution. Rather than focusing entirely on Toussaint and the slave rebellion as he did with Gabriel Proser in Black Thunder, the novel centers on white Creoles and their response to the opening moments of the revolution. Some of the … Read More Arna Bontemps’s "Drums at Dusk" and the Middle Passage