The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction

The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction

The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction

The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction

Synopsis

In this exploration of the relationship between biblical apocalypse and black fiction, Maxine Montgomery argues that American writers see apocalyptic events in an intermediate and secular sense, as a tenable response to racial oppression. This work analyzes the characters, plots, and themes of seven novels that rely on the apocalyptic trope.

Excerpt

When President George Bush addressed the nation in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, his phrase "the new world order" referred to the system of government to emerge after the crisis. The new world order Mr. Bush envisioned was a multinational one to be built upon militaristic aggression, political strength, and world domination cloaked in the guise of democracy. These catchwords validated the notion of manifest destiny present in the national psyche. But when African-American leaders spoke of the crisis, their rhetorical emphasis stressed America's hypocrisy in intervening in a foreign country's dilemma while neglecting the more pressing social, economic, and political problems confronting black citizens at home.

A result of these two divergent political agendas--one predominantly white, the other primarily black--is the identification of conflicting notions of what constitutes an apocalyptic vision. This book's primary purpose is to substantiate the assertion that not only is there an apocalypticism in the African-American tradition, but also to show how African-American novelists have used the image of the end of the world, creating a variant that is distract to black fictional discourse. In that literary tradition apocalypse is a mode of expression revealing a concern with the end of an oppressive sociopolitical system and the establishment of a new world order where racial justice prevails. In apocalypse, then, there is evidence of the crisis-ridden African-American experience: the movement from country to city, the change from a rural or agrarian to an urban or industrialized . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.