By Jennifer C. James
Within the first accomplished research of African American battle literature, Jennifer James analyzes fiction, poetry, autobiography, and histories in regards to the significant wars waged sooner than the desegregation of the U.S. army in 1948. reading literature in regards to the Civil conflict, the Spanish-American Wars, international warfare I, and global warfare II, James introduces quite a number infrequent and understudied texts through writers resembling Victor Daly, F. provide Gilmore, William Gardner Smith, and Susie King Taylor. She argues that works via those in addition to canonical writers comparable to William Wells Brown, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Gwendolyn Brooks mark a particular contribution to African American letters.
In developing African American struggle literature as a long-standing literary style in its personal correct, James additionally considers the ways that this writing, situated because it is on moments of nationwide hindrance, advanced debates approximately black id and African americans' claims to citizenship. In a provocative evaluate, James argues that the very ambivalence over using violence as a political device defines African American struggle writing and creates a compelling, contradictory physique of literature that defies effortless summary.
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Additional info for A Freedom Bought with Blood: African American War Literature from the Civil War to World War II
He could have chosen events that showed an emerging fraternity among white officers and their black subordinates. In other words, he could have taken this as an opportunity to create an uncompromised heroic black C I V I L WAR W O U N D S 39 manhood—the decision Douglass made when he chose to write The Heroic Slave— a depiction of a black man who waged a successful revolt, rather than a fictionalized version of, say, Nat Turner, whose body ended up dangling from a noose. Instead, Brown is distressed enough by the white male's willingness to wound black male subjectivity (on many terrains) that he finds it necessary to reviolate the black male body himself: "His head entirely torn off by a shell," Jerome is simply and unceremoniously snuffed out (106).
In these chapters, he refuses to enshroud her in the idealizing terms standard for the literary figure whose very comeliness had come to represent the political and social promise of the black nation. Focusing on the alterations made to these bodies and the alterations to the Clotel narratives, I will argue that Brown's unwillingness to provide Jerome and Clotelle with either a protective domestic narrative or a protective corporeal language in the Civil War section of the 1867 revision reflects the writer's disillusionment in the years following the conflict, a disillusionment that led him to create a depiction of the "Rebellion" that rejects the laws that govern sentimentality for the laws that govern the frankly unsentimental project of war.
3. War as a site of sexual struggle. Aside from blackwomen's determination to transform war from a traditionally masculinist space to one where they can participate in the making of nation, war acts a site for another form of sexual struggle within the African American war narrative. " In the case of the United States, that "she," of course, has been racialized as white: Blind Justice holding her scales, Liberty holding her torch. The flag of one black Civil War unit was emblazoned with a black soldier and a white, gowned woman jointly holding an American flag.
A Freedom Bought with Blood: African American War Literature from the Civil War to World War II by Jennifer C. James