Cover: To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature, from Harvard University PressCover: To Wake the Nations in PAPERBACK

To Wake the Nations

Race in the Making of American Literature

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Product Details


$50.00 • £40.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674893313

Publication Date: 07/15/1998


720 pages

6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches

4 musical examples

Belknap Press


  • Introduction
  • I. Slavery, Revolution, Renaissance
    • 1. Signs of Power: Nat Turner and Frederick Douglass
      • San Domingo and Its Patriots
      • Nat Turner, Thomas Gray, and the Phenomenology of Slavery
      • Ibo Warriors
      • Blackhead Signpost: Prophecy and Terror
      • Frederick Douglass’s Revisions
      • Iron Sentences: Paternity, Literacy, Liberty
      • Broken Fetters: The Right of Revolution
    • 2. Melville, Delany, and New World Slavery
      • Memory, Authority, and the Shadowy Tableau
      • The Play of the Barber
      • Ashantee Conjurors: Africanisms and Africanization
      • The Law of Nature or the Hive of Subtlety
      • Caribbean Empires
      • “It Is Wrote in Jeremiah”: American Maroons
      • Sugar, Conspiracy, and the Ladder
      • El Dia de los Reyes
  • II. The Color Line
    • 3. Mark Twain and Homer Plessy
      • The Second Slavery
      • The Badge of Servitude: Homer Plessy and the Rise of Segregation
      • Blaspheming Colors, Extraordinary Twins
      • A Whisper to the Reader
    • 4. Charles Chesnutt’s Cakewalk
      • The Origin of the Cakewalk
      • Word Shadows and Alternating Sounds: Folklore, Dialect, and Vernacular
      • Uncle Remus, Uncle Julius, and the New Negro
      • “De Ole Times,” Slave Culture, and Africa
      • Talking Bones: Conjure and Narrative
      • White Weeds: The Pathology of the Color Line
      • Fusion: The Marrow of Tradition
      • A Great Black Figure and a Doll
  • III. W. E. B. Du Bois: African America and the Kingdom of Culture
    • 5. Swing Low: The Souls of Black Folk
      • In the Kingdom of Culture
      • “This Wonderful Music of Bondage”
      • Bright Sparkles: Music and Text
      • Black and Unknown Bards: A Theory of the Sorrow Songs
    • 6. The Spell of Africa
      • The Color Line Belts the World
      • “Ethiopia Shall Stretch Forth Her Hands”: Toward Pan-Africanism
      • Africa: The Hidden Self and the Pageant of Nationalism
      • The Burden of Black Women
      • The Black Christ and Other Prophets
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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