Category: charles chesnutt

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What keeps us from acting?

Lillian Smith wrote Now is the Time (1955) in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Smith saw the decision as every child’s Magna Carta, and in Now is the Time, she laid out that in order to move forward, we must act. The book, in essence, as Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens put it, “crystallized approximately two decades … Read More What keeps us from acting?

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The Paradox of Writing to Get the “Bigots”

If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page.  Over the past few posts, I have been discussing how authors such as Frank Yerby, Claude McKay, and Zora Neale Hurston counter western ideals of beauty, specifically ideals of white beauty. Over the next couple of posts, I want to move back a little and … Read More The Paradox of Writing to Get the “Bigots”

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Charles Chesnutt’s “Paul Marchand” and the Social Construction of Race: Part II

If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page.  In the last post, I spoke some about the “legal fictions” that Charles Chesnutt highlights in Paul Marchand, F.M.C., specifically with the relationship between Paul and Julie and with the terms that the narrator deploys throughout the novel. Today, I want to continue this discussion … Read More Charles Chesnutt’s “Paul Marchand” and the Social Construction of Race: Part II

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Charles Chesnutt’s “Paul Marchand” and the Social Construction of Race: Part I

If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page.  Charles Chesnutt’s Paul Marchand, F.M.C. highlights the legal fictions constructing race in America and the absolute absurdity of such constructions. Today, I want to look at some of the ways that Chesnutt illuminates the construction of race through legal fictions in the novel. Chesnutt explores … Read More Charles Chesnutt’s “Paul Marchand” and the Social Construction of Race: Part I

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Confronting the Reader in Feldstein and Wood’s “The Guilty!”

Last Thursday, I wrote about the ways that Al Feldstein and Wallace Wood countered racism in their story “Hate!” which appeared in EC Comics’ Shock SuspenStories #5. Over the next couple of posts, I want to take a look at three more stories by the duo: “Guilty!,” “Under Cover,” and “The Whipping!” I do not have enough space to thoroughly delve into each story; … Read More Confronting the Reader in Feldstein and Wood’s “The Guilty!”

Interracial Intimacy and “Loving v. Virginia” Syllabus

Over the past year, I have been thinking about a project that am currently working on. The project involves examining African American texts from the 1960s and 1970s that center on interracial relationships. I chose this time period because the Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia; however, even forty years later, racist individuals still disapproved of interracial relationships. … Read More Interracial Intimacy and “Loving v. Virginia” Syllabus

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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

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Charles Chesnutt’s “Dave’s Neckliss” and the Psychological Effects of Slavery

I have written about the ways that texts illuminate the psychological effects of slavery and Jim Crow segregation on both the minds of white and blacks alike. Today, I want to take a moment and look at one of Charles W. Chesnutt’s conjure tales that foregrounds the psychological effects of slavery and Jim Crow from the outset. “Dave’s Neckliss” originally appeared in the Atlantic … Read More Charles Chesnutt’s “Dave’s Neckliss” and the Psychological Effects of Slavery

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Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Nelse Hatton’s Vengeance” and the Plantation Tradition

In Tuesday’s post, I wrote about Charles Chesnutt’s “The Sheriff’s Children” and the plantation tradition. Today, I want to extend that conversation to include Paul Laurence Dunbar, an author who many have painted as an accomadationist that perpetuated African American stereotypes and played to the plantation tradition. However, as I argue elsewhere on this blog, Dunbar worked to subvert that tradition through his writing. … Read More Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Nelse Hatton’s Vengeance” and the Plantation Tradition

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Charles Chesnutt and the Plantation Tradition

Last week, I wrote about race in two local stories by George Washington Cable and Kate Chopin. Over the next couple of posts, I want to look at the ways that authors such as Charles Chesnutt and Paul Laurence Dunbar work to counter the plantation tradition and specifically the continued perpetuation of an idealized South during the latter part of the nineteenth century and … Read More Charles Chesnutt and the Plantation Tradition

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Collaborative Project for Literature Classroom

Last semester, I had students construct presentations of terms and historical events in my Early American Literature survey course. I have a posts on the assignment itself and on some of the projects that students created. This semester, I am tweaking that assignment in a couple of ways. Rather than having students present on specific terms and presenting during the last week of class, … Read More Collaborative Project for Literature Classroom

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George S. Schuyler’s “Black No More” and Identity

In the light of the recent election, we need to read George S. Schuyler’s biting satire Black no More (1931), especially amidst the type of rhetoric that appeared during and after the November 8, 2016. Schuyler’s novel focuses on Max Disher, a black man who, through the technology of Dr. Junius Crookman, becomes white and rises to power in a white nationalist organization (Knights of … Read More George S. Schuyler’s “Black No More” and Identity