As Nathan Huggins once stated, altering American history to account fully for the nation's black voices would change the tone and meaning--the frame and the substance--of the entire story. Rather than a sort of Pilgrim's Progress tale of bold ascent and triumph, American history with the black parts told in full would be transmuted into an existential tragedy, closer, Huggins said, to Sartre's No Exit than to the vision of life in Bunyan. The relation between memory and history has received increasing attention both from historians and from literary critics. In this volume, a group of leading
Contents; 1. Introduction; 2. The Black Writer's Use of Memory; 3. The Politics of Fiction, Anthropology, and the Folk: Zora Neale Hurston; 4. W. E. B. Du Bois and the Struggle for American Historical Memory; 5. African-American Commemorative Celebrations in the Nineteenth Century; 6. National Identity and Ethnic Diversity: ""Of Plymouth Rock and Jamestown and Ellis Island""; or, Ethnic Literature and Some Redefinitions of America; 7. International Beacons of African-American Memory: Alexandre Dumas père, Henry O. Tanner, and Josephine Baker as Examples of Recognition 8. On the Wrong Side of the Fence: Racial Segregation in American Cemeteries9. What One Cannot Remember Mistakenly; 10. History-Telling and Time: An Example from Kentucky; 11. Memory and Mass Culture; 12. Performing the Memory of Difference in Afro-Caribbean Dance: Katherine Dunham's Choreography, 1938-87; 13. ""With a Whip in His Hand"": Rape, Memory, and African-American Women; 14. Sherley Anne Williams' Dessa Rose: History and the Disruptive Power of Memory; 15. Art History and Black Memory: Toward a ""Blues Aesthetic""; 16. On Burke and the Vernacular: Ralph Ellison's Boomerang of History 17. The Journals of Charlotte L. Forten-Grimké: Les Lieux de Mémoire in African-American Women's Autobiography18. Washington Park; 19. Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire; Contributors; Index
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