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Teaching the Works of Eudora WeltyTwenty-First-Century Approaches$
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Mae Miller Claxton and Julia Eichelberger

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496814531

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496814531.001.0001

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The Matter of Black Lives in American Literature

The Matter of Black Lives in American Literature

Welty’s Nonfiction and Photography

(p.78) The Matter of Black Lives in American Literature
Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty

Ebony Lumumba

University Press of Mississippi

This essay engages the use of Welty’s non-fiction and photography in instructing an honest and equitable American literature course with students whose cultural identities are typically ignored and distorted within the canon—students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The essay focuses upon Welty’s use of irony as a means of making covert commentary on racial injustice within her photography and works such as “Ida M’Toy,” (1942) “Pageant of Birds,” (1943) and “Cindy and the Joyful Noise” (2014). The essay goes on to employ the photographs and non-fiction as tools to challenge the treatment of marginal communities in the American literary canon and foster a space where students feel connected to the literature. This essay emphasizes how teaching Welty’s photography and non-fiction can assist in creating an environment of inclusion and thoughtful learning while focusing the course on how and why images of African Americans are generated in American literature.

Keywords:   “Pageant of Birds”, HBCU, Photography, non-fiction, American literary canon, African American

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