By Jennifer C. James
Within the first finished learn of African American struggle literature, Jennifer James analyzes fiction, poetry, autobiography, and histories concerning the significant wars waged sooner than the desegregation of the U.S. army in 1948. reading literature concerning the Civil warfare, the Spanish-American Wars, global struggle I, and international warfare II, James introduces more than a few infrequent and understudied texts via writers equivalent to Victor Daly, F. provide Gilmore, William Gardner Smith, and Susie King Taylor. She argues that works by means of those in addition to canonical writers akin to William Wells Brown, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Gwendolyn Brooks mark a particular contribution to African American letters.
In setting up African American conflict literature as a long-standing literary style in its personal correct, James additionally considers the ways that this writing, established because it is on moments of nationwide difficulty, advanced debates approximately black id and African american citizens' claims to citizenship. In a provocative evaluate, James argues that the very ambivalence over using violence as a political tool defines African American battle writing and creates a compelling, contradictory physique of literature that defies effortless summary.
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Extra resources for A Freedom Bought with Blood: African American War Literature from the Civil War to World War II
Moreover, Jerome's commanding officer is not the concerned abolitionist/ commander both Harper and memoirist Susie King Taylor will both put to use in their works, but "a sorry tribute to white humanity" (106). This episode is a fictionalized representation of an event in the war that apparently had made a deep impression on Brown. In The Negro in the American Rebellion, the writer allots the incident an entire chapter, rendering it in explicit, uncomfortable detail. In historical actuality, a noncommissioned black officer, Captain Andre Cailloux, whom Brown describes in the most elevated terms of black masculinity—"the blackest man in the Crescent City.
Throughout his lectures and speeches Brown maintains that blacks, if indeed in a degraded condition, were made that way from the intellectual and physical deprivations of bondage; given time, they would emerge as enlightened, capable beings. For Brown, that linear narrative of black progress almost always crosses the threshold of the domestic, the allegorical space where he enacts his fantasies of national inclusion. The manner in which Brown constantly moves his hero and heroine across geography and circumstance—from the United States to Europe and back to the United States, from slavery to freedom—demonstrates that Brown's particular notion of a politically useful domesticity relies less on the creation of a perfected material space than on an idealized heterosexual union whose hallmark is its very mobility: black men and women forming a political alliance that is impervious to time, space, and history.
86 Thus battle, war's "violent essence,"87 is subject to infinite refraction and deferral; the very bodily and psychic locus of its "truth" becoming, perhaps, the most unreliable conveyer of its larger reality. " In On War (1832), the famous nineteenth-century military strategist Karl von Clausewitz endeavored to do just this, using his sprawling tome to discuss war's origins, functions, and operations. It was there that he issued his oft-cited maxim: "War is ... a continuation of policy by other means.
A Freedom Bought with Blood: African American War Literature from the Civil War to World War II by Jennifer C. James