Category: solomon northup

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The “Visceral Feelings” of Racism in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

Throughout his career, Frank Yerby confronted whiteness and white supremacy in his novels. He looked at the ways that racism, xenophobia, nationalism, and oppression affected the oppressor as well as the oppressed. This is what Lillian Smith does throughout her work. It’s what Harper Lee attempts to do in To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s what Toni Morrison says we should do in Playing in … Read More The “Visceral Feelings” of Racism in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

David Walker’s “Cyborg” and Identity: Part II

Last post, I started looking at David Walker’s Cyborg, and I noted that his arc, “Unplugged,” is not an origin story about how Victor Stone became Cyborg. Instead, it is an arc chronicling how Victor Stone, as Cyborg, becomes Victor Stone. It’s an arc tracing how Victor Stone becomes visible to his family and society. It’s an arc that, at its core, encapsulates the … Read More David Walker’s “Cyborg” and Identity: Part II

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Racist Thought in Al Feldstein and Joe Orlando’s “Judgement Day”

Over the past few months, I have delved into the EC Comics’ back vault, mainly looking at the more realistic Shock SuspenStories. A couple of weeks ago, Blair Davis tweeted about an Al Feldstein and Joe Orlando story from Weird Fantasy #18 entitled “Judgement Day” from 1953. Davis’s tweet read, “Comics+politics=’Judgement Day.’ If you haven’t read this 1953 tale from EC Comics’ Weird Fantasy … Read More Racist Thought in Al Feldstein and Joe Orlando’s “Judgement Day”

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Illuminating the Truth in Ethiop’s “Afric-American Picture Gallery”

Last post, I wrote about William J. Wilson’s motivation for writing the “Afric-American Picture Gallery (1859). Today, I want to expand on that conversation some and show how Wilson, under the pen-name Ethiop, challenges the master narratives of American history in much the same ways that David Walker, John Russwurm, Samuel Cornsih, Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northup, and others did during the early to mid-nineteenth … Read More Illuminating the Truth in Ethiop’s “Afric-American Picture Gallery”

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Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog” and Slave Rebellion

Ever since I first encountered Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog, or the Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs,” I became intrigued by the issues Poe addressed through this Gothic story that takes place far away from American soil. The story first appeared in 1849, and we can read the story in an autobiographical manner, as some scholars have done. However, I would argue that we must also read … Read More Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog” and Slave Rebellion