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. 42, No. 1, Spring

Afterword
As I read the richly varied articles collected in "Representing Segregation," the legal case of the Jena Six made headlines across the United States. Its images of the lynching tree, the manacled black male body, and the self-righteous agent of an...
American Graffiti: The Social Life of Segregation Signs
A streetcar conductor in a 1945 cartoon in the Chicago Defender points to a sign declaring "FROM HERE BACK FOR nEGROES." Beneath the sign, a Caucasian featured woman protests: "... But I'm not! I got this tan out at the beach" (see Fig. 1). Playing...
A Negative Utopia: Protest Memory and the Spatio-Symbolism of Civil Rights Literature and Photography
"Whereas Aragon persists within the realm of dream, here the concern is to find the constellation of awakening ... here it is a question of the dissolution of 'mythology" into the space of history"--Walter Benjamin (Arcades Project [N 1, 9] 458) ...
Black Is a Region: Segregation and American Literary Regionalism in Richard Wright's: The Color Curtain
What has my geographical position on earth have to do with the faults or merits of a book?--Richard Wright "I am a rootless man," Richard Wright declares very early in White Man, Listen! (1957). The simple utterance captures the tie between his...
Charles Chesnutt's "The Dumb Witness" and the Culture of Segregation
In 1897, when Charles Chesnutt composed "The Dumb Witness," he was returning to the literary form--his conjure tales"--that had won him his earliest successes. That literary return was likely bittersweet for Chesnutt, because while it led directly...
Embodying Segregation: Ida B. Wells and the Cultural Work of Travel
Writing about the return voyage from her first trip to the United Kingdom in 1893, Ida B. Wells notes two "delightful" circumstances of the journey: "First, there were few if any white Americans on board. Second, there were fifteen young Englishmen...
Housing the Black Body: Value, Domestic Space, and Segregation Narratives
We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan, Grayed in, and gray. "Dream" makes a giddy sound, not strong Like "rent," "feeding a wife," satisfying a man." But could a dream send up through onion fumes Its white and violet, fight with fried...
In the Crowd
In the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth, thousands of men and women were murdered by mobs in the United States. The victims of lynching included people of all races and ethnicities, but the majority of them...
Into a Burning House: Representing Segregation's Death
But white Americans do not believe in death, and this is why the darkness of my skin so intimidates them.--James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time So long as the promises of integration remain unfulfilled, it is premature to inquire after segregation...
Native Geography: Richard Wright's Work for the Federal Writers' Project in Chicago
Perhaps the most famous anecdote about the influence of the Federal Writers Project (FWP) on writers in its employ is that about Ralph Ellison, who--while working on the "Living Lore" folklore project in New York City--collected a story about an invisible...
Smacked Upside the Head-Again
I recently viewed July '64 (2006), a documentary film by Carvin Eison about racial violence in Rochester, New York, on July 24 and 25, 1964. It was the first time in history that the National Guard had to be called out for racial disturbances in a...
"Somewhat like War": The Aesthetics of Segregation, Black Liberation, and A Raisin in the Sun
... We must come out of the ghettos of America, because the ghettos are killing us; not only our dreams, as Mama says, but our very bodies. It is not an abstraction to us that the average American Negro has a life expectancy of five to ten years less...
To Lie, Steal, and Dissemble: Representing Segregation
Segregation is a touchstone issue in African American history, and it profoundly shapes how we think about group identity and belonging in the United States. How have writers represented experiences of racial segregation in literary venues? Segregation...
White Islands of Safety and Engulfing Blackness: Remapping Segregation in Angelina Weld Grimke's "Blackness" and "Goldie"
We with our blood have watered these fields And they belong to us.--Margaret Walker, "Delta" (1942) I. Introduction: Loss and the Literary Landscape Jim Crow apartheid and northern segregation alike operated through the racialization of space,...
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