Synopses & Reviews
*Broad-based survey of trans-Atlantic black culture*Newest book in the popular Black Atlantic seriesRadical Narratives of the Black Atlantic is a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary take on trans-Atlantic black culture. Alan Rice engages fully with Paul Gilroy's paradigm of the Black Atlantic through examination of a broad array of cultural genres including music, dance, folklore and oral literature, fine art, material culture, film and literature. The aspects of black culture under discussion range from black British gravesites to sea shanties, from the novels of Toni Morrison to the paintings of the Zanzibar born black British artist Lubaina Himid and from King Kong to the travels of Frederick Douglass and Paul Robeson. The book places such figures as the African American traveller and Barbary slave narrator Robert Adams and the West Indian slave narrator Mary Prince in a Black Atlantic context that explicates them fully. A chapter on the Titanic disaster shows how diasporan Africans composed oral poems about the disaster to criticise the discriminatory practices of its owners and racial imperialism. Overall, the book argues for the crucial importance of Black Atlantic cultures in the formation of our modern world. Moreover, it argues that looking at Black culture and history through a national lens is distorting and reductive.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -236) and index.
Table of Contents
1. Uprooted and Re-Routed: Actual and Imaginative Biographies of the Black Atlantic2. "I Had a Cork in My Ass and I Couldn't Go Down": Surviving the Middle Passage--A Counter-Historical Reading of Oral Narratives of the Black Atlantic3. "Food for the Sharks": Constructions and Reconstructions of the Middle Passage Imaginary in the Transatlantic Economy4. "Up to the Highest Point": Liberation and the Flying Symbolic in Black Atlantic Culture5. "Who's Eating Whom": The Discourse of Cannibalism in Narratives of the Black and White Atlantic6. Funky Eruptions and Chain-Dancing to Freedom: The Implications of Toni Morrison's Radical Style in The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby and Beloved7. "The Dogs of Old England Meet the Lions of the New World": Frederick Douglass, Paul Robeson and the Development of a "Strategic Anglophilia"8. Black Bodies Transported Across the Ocean in Chains: The Black Atlantic in Cinema from King Kong to Amistad9. From Ships on the Head to Stone-Markers on the Shore: The Conservation of Black Atlantic Memory