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Prefiguring PostblacknessCultural Memory, Drama, and the African American Freedom Struggle of the 1960s$
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Carol Bunch Davis

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802989

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802989.001.0001

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date: 21 July 2018

The Postblack Ethos in “Texts Out of Time”: Rosa Parks and the African American Freedom Struggle in Cultural Memory

The Postblack Ethos in “Texts Out of Time”: Rosa Parks and the African American Freedom Struggle in Cultural Memory

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction The Postblack Ethos in “Texts Out of Time”: Rosa Parks and the African American Freedom Struggle in Cultural Memory
Source:
Prefiguring Postblackness
Author(s):

Carol Bunch Davis

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496802989.003.0001

This book challenges the cultural memory of the African American Freedom Struggle era that hinges on a master narrative focused on the “heroic period” of the Civil Rights Movement. It argues that this narrative limits the representation of African American identity within the Civil Rights Movement to Martin Luther King's nonviolent protest leadership in the segregated South and casts Malcolm X's advocacy of black nationalism and the ensuing Black Power/Arts Movement as undermining civil rights advances. Through an analysis of five case studies of African American identity staged in plays between 1959 and 1969, the book instead offers representations that engage, critique, and revise racial uplift ideology and reimagine the Black Arts Movement's sometimes proscriptive notions of black authenticity as a condition of black identity and cultural production. It also posits a postblack ethos as the means by which these representations construct their counternarratives to cultural memory and broadens narrow constructions of African American identity shaping racial discourse in the U.S. public sphere of the 1960s.

Keywords:   cultural memory, African American Freedom Struggle, Civil Rights Movement, African American identity, Martin Luther King, black nationalism, racial uplift ideology, Black Arts Movement, black authenticity, postblack ethos

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