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Black Folklore and the Politics of Racial Representation$
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Shirley Moody-Turner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038853

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038853.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2019

“The Stolen Voice”

“The Stolen Voice”

Charles Chesnutt, Whiteness, and the Politics of Folklore

Chapter:
(p.127) 5 “The Stolen Voice”
Source:
Black Folklore and the Politics of Racial Representation
Author(s):

Shirley Moody-Turner

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617038853.003.0006

Chapter five details how Charles Chesnutt, in The Conjure Woman (1899), experimented with African American folklore, especially conjure and ritual, as a way to critique the existing epistemological approaches to understanding black culture and black history, and later, in The Colonel’s Dream (1905) turned his attention to exposing the white-supremacist forms of folklore that worked to reinforce existing structures of race relations. In addition to examining how Chesnutt posited black folklore as an alternative way of constructing, perceiving, and responding to current and historical realities, the chapter also introduces the Chesnutt’s The Colonel’s Dream (1905) as a novel that painstakingly unravels the conflicting fictions of folklore and race by exposing the customary politics of race relations that defined both whiteness, as well as his white characters’ attitudes about race, African Americans, and themselves.

Keywords:   Charles Chesnutt, Whiteness, African American folklore, Conjure, Colonel’s Dream

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