African American Review

Founded in 1967, the African American Review is a quarterly journal published by St. Louis University, located in St. Louis, Mo. Its subject matter is literature and black publications. Its managing editor is Aileen Keenan.

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer

Black Feminism and Queer Families: A Conversation with Thomas Allen Harris
In Vintage: Families of Value (1995) Anita Jones proclaims, "I have chose to do like my mother and be a warrior... 'cause I'm a lesbian. My life has evolved around women being sensual, and I rather enjoy it." Speaking forthrightly to the camera,...
Focusing on the Wrong Front: Historical Displacement, the Maginot Line, and the Bluest Eye
Recent theoretical work has examined the ways that the abstract idea of the bodiless citizen has marked women and non-white Americans as outside the boundaries of full citizenship, because the attention paid to the various markings of gender or...
Love Jones: A Black Male Feminist Critique of Chester Himes's If He Hollers Let Him Go
In his insightful essay "A Black Man's Place(s) in Black Feminist Criticism," Michael Awkward asks an important question: "Can black men like himself--those who are deeply invested in resisting patriarchal power, and for whom black women's lives,...
Masquerade, Magic, and Carnival in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
The element of carnival-masquerade offers a wide lens through which to view black-white race relations by mirroring and magnifying racial practices in the United States. Perhaps no work of African American literature exemplifies this point more...
Performing "Truth": Black Speech Acts
Wai' a minit, wai' a minit. Hol' up! Speak one at a time. This is not The Jerry Springer Show. (Oprah Winfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show [1998]) Let a Black sistah break it down fo' ya. (RuPaul, Foxy Lady [1996]) Introduction: Dialogic, Dialect,...
Plunging (outside of) History: Naming and Self-Possession in Invisible Man
Prologue In several interviews, Ralph Ellison joins many of his readers in resolving Invisible Man into a declaration of coherent identity. Effectively interpreting Invisible Man as a modem Bildungsroman, Ellison says: "In my novel the narrator's...
Rootwork: Arthur Flowers, Zora Neale Hurston, and the "Literary Hoodoo" Tradition
Midway through Arthur Flowers' 1993 novel Another Good Loving Blues, Zora Neale Hurston appears in a Memphis drugstore where Beale Street intellectuals gather. The time is the 1920s, and Hurston the character is in town to collect local folklore....
"The Hierarchy Itself": Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and the Sacrifice of Narrative Authority
The authoritarian relation between the one who commands and the one who obeys rests neither on common reason nor on the power of the one who commands; what they have in common is the hierarchy itself, whose rightness and legitimacy both recognize...
"When the Pear Blossoms / Cast Their Pale Faces on / the Darker Face of the Earth": Miscegenation, the Primal Scene, and the Incest Motif in Rita Dove's Work
Rita Dove's verse drama The Darker Face of the Earth is a curiously important text in her oeuvre. Curious, because while its initial publication date is 1994, it originates, according to Dove, in the late 1970s and was first drafted in the early...