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A Noble Fight: African American Freemasonry and the Struggle for Democracy in Americaby Corey D. B. Walker
Synopses & Reviews
A Noble Fight examines the metaphors and meanings behind the African American appropriation of the culture, ritual, and institution of freemasonry in navigating the contested domain of American democracy. Combining cultural and political theory with extensive archival research--including the discovery of a rare collection of nineteenth-century records of an African American Freemason Lodge--Corey D. B. Walker provides an innovative perspective on American politics and society during the long transition from slavery to freedom. With great care and detail, Walker argues that African American freemasonry provides a critical theoretical lens for understanding the distinctive ways African Americans have constructed a radically democratic political imaginary through racial solidarity and political nationalism, forcing us to reconsider much more circumspectly the complex relationship between voluntary associations and democratic politics.
Book News Annotation:
Setting his subject within the context of broader debates concerning the relationship between voluntary associations and democratic politics, Walker (Africana studies, Brown U.) examines how African Americans involved in Freemasonry appropriated its language, imagery, ritual, symbolism, and structure in order to articulate their political conception of "the ethico-political citizen" and of equality, subjectivity, and solidarity. He particularly focuses on the intersection between freemasonry and the African American articulation of democratic politics through a re-reading of the 1800 slave rebellion of Gabriel (often incorrectly referred to as Gabriel Prosser) and African American associational life in post-emancipation Virginia. Within these discussions is a parallel examination of the construction and representation of black masculinity in relation to the logics and technologies of democratic politics, capitalist economics, and social and symbolic violence. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A critical investigation into the associational culture of African American freemasonry
About the Author
Corey D. B. Walker is an assistant professor in the department of Africana Studies at Brown University.
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History and Social Science » African American Studies » General