Category: w.e.b. dubois

Divide and Conquer: Part I

I’ve always known that rhetoric, speech, and writing serve as weapons to sever communities or as tools to bring them together. Because of this, I know that individuals in power will use that weapon to keep individuals below separate through demonizing one group and promising hopes to the other. This has occurred throughout history, and in regard to race in America, it has occurred … Read More Divide and Conquer: Part I

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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lillian E. Smith: Part I

On February 4, 1968, two months before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered “The Drum Major Instinct” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. During the sermon, King pointed out that the drum major instinct can lead to “tragic race prejudice.” On this point, he continued, “Many have written about this problem—Lillian Smith used to say it beautifully in some of her books. And she would … Read More Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lillian E. Smith: Part I

“I am as good as anybody”: 1619 and American Myths

The reaction to the New York Times 1619 Project has ranged from overwhelming approval to unabashed criticism. This criticism stemmed from those who do not see, or more importantly do not want to see, the ways that race and the institution of chattel slavery has influenced every aspect of our nation from its foundations to the present. The project states that its aim “is … Read More “I am as good as anybody”: 1619 and American Myths

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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Language in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”: Part I

Over the past few posts, I have been writing about Ernest Hemingway, modernism, the ways that language constructs meaning, and how authors such as Hemingway interrogated these constructions. Today, I want to look briefly at another modernist author who does the same thing in a slightly different manner than Hemingway. That author, of course, is William Faulkner, and the novel is The Sound and … Read More Language in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”: Part I

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Rhetorically Examining Zora Neale Hurston’s “How It Feels to be Colored Me!”

A few posts ago, I wrote about W.E.B. Du Bois and double consciousness. As part of this discussion, I looked at the ways that some artists, such as Charles Chesnutt and Frank Yerby navigated the literary landscape in relation to what readers expected from their works and how readers responded. Today, I want to briefly take a look at Zora Neale Hurston’s “How It … Read More Rhetorically Examining Zora Neale Hurston’s “How It Feels to be Colored Me!”

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“The Prince of Pulpsters” or “Debunker of Myths”: Frank Yerby Syllabus

When reading Frank Yerby’s work, I keep asking one question over and over again: “Why isn’t anyone teaching these texts?” I know that some scholars teach Yerby; however, compared to other authors, his appearance in the classroom is minuscule. I had heard the name, in passing, during my graduate work; however, I never saw him in any anthologies or read any of his books … Read More “The Prince of Pulpsters” or “Debunker of Myths”: Frank Yerby Syllabus

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“Why folks gotta say what I am?” Identity in ‘Bitch Planet’

A few weeks ago, Qiana Whitted led a three part round table on Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s Bitch Planet at The Middle Spaces. I read volume one of the series about a year ago, and after reading the round table, I went back and reread those first few issues. (Unfortunately, I still have not read the subsequent volumes.)  As I read back through … Read More “Why folks gotta say what I am?” Identity in ‘Bitch Planet’

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Reconstruction and Whiteness in Frank Yerby’s “The Vixens”

In “How and Why I Write the Costume Novel” (1959), Frank Yerby discusses what he terms the “costume novel,” a novel that is essentially “light, pleasant fiction.” Rather than working to persuade his readers and protest social injustice, Yerby states that his job as a novelist “is to entertain. If he aspires to instruct, or to preach, he has chosen his profession unwisely.” While … Read More Reconstruction and Whiteness in Frank Yerby’s “The Vixens”

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Dwayne McDuffie’s “Deathlok” and W.E.B. DuBois

Last post, I wrote about Michael Collins in Dwayne McDuffie’s Deathlok, today, I want to continue that conversation by discussing, briefly, Collins’ use of W.E.B. DuBois’ Double Consciousness when describing his identity. Michael’s quoting of DuBois is a direct continuation of his conversation with Misty Knight as the two talk in her apartment. Through these conversations, Michael and Misty Knight both navigate a world … Read More Dwayne McDuffie’s “Deathlok” and W.E.B. DuBois

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The Black Panther and Racial Profiling in Jungle Action #20

In preparation for the February 2018 premier of the Black Panther film, I started to delve into Don McGregor’s incarnation of Black Panther in the revived Jungle Action series from 1972-1976. The reemergence of the series, and the foregrounding of T’Challa took place in correlation with Marvel’s launching of Luke Cage, a series that looked to capitalize on the rise of Blaxploitation films during the … Read More The Black Panther and Racial Profiling in Jungle Action #20