By Jennifer C. James
Within the first finished research of African American battle literature, Jennifer James analyzes fiction, poetry, autobiography, and histories concerning the significant wars waged earlier than the desegregation of the U.S. army in 1948. analyzing literature in regards to the Civil warfare, the Spanish-American Wars, global conflict I, and global warfare II, James introduces a number of infrequent and understudied texts by means of writers akin to Victor Daly, F. supply Gilmore, William Gardner Smith, and Susie King Taylor. She argues that works by way of those in addition to canonical writers resembling William Wells Brown, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Gwendolyn Brooks mark a particular contribution to African American letters.
In constructing African American warfare literature as a long-standing literary style in its personal correct, James additionally considers the ways that this writing, headquartered because it is on moments of nationwide quandary, complex debates approximately black identification and African american citizens' claims to citizenship. In a provocative evaluation, James argues that the very ambivalence over using violence as a political software defines African American battle writing and creates a compelling, contradictory physique of literature that defies effortless summary.
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Additional resources for A Freedom Bought with Blood: African American War Literature from the Civil War to World War II
How useful is the "heroic slave," for instance, when placed on the battlefield? The multitude of questions raised by these representative strategies, what I have labeled the domestication ofwarfare, inevitably lead to a final, overarching question asked by most of the writers in my study: what, exactly, are we fighting for? The response most texts supply—citizenship rights—seems simple enough. Given, however, that these rights would continue to be deferred in the aftermath of war upon war, there is nothing at all simple about that answer.
For instance, Amy Kaplan has read Theodore Roosevelt's conflicting accounts of the all-black Ninth and Tenth Calvary's performance during the famed Battle of San Juan Hill as an attempt to "restore domestic order" that required Roosevelt to reestablish the logic of a social and political hierarchy grounded in race. "65 Black Americans' efforts to correct those portrayals of black men at war used to service a supremacist agenda gave rise to a genre of fictional war writing specific to African Americans: the black masculinist war novel.
As a masculinist rhetorical strategy, women are omitted from this story, or assumed to be created from the black male warring body, little more than a race of black Eves. It is therefore critical to consider what opportunities for political and social gain African American women felt that war—and more importantly, black women's narration of warfare—offered them. Fatal Feminization As far back as the Civil War—and, as Nell claims, probably before—black women were active during times of war. S.
A Freedom Bought with Blood: African American War Literature from the Civil War to World War II by Jennifer C. James