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Though usually lacking a literal, the novels Davis examines all have

the theme of judgment at their center, and she ingeniously

unravels the "verdict" each author extracts from or her plot.

 

 

Other Books on Nathaniel Turner  (1800-1831)

    

    Nat Turner A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory by Kenneth Greenberg

     Nat Turner Before the Bar of Judgment by Mary Kemp Davis

     Nat Turner's Tragic Search  by Catherine Hermary-Vielle

     The Rebellious Slave Nat Turner in American Memory by Scot French

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Nat Turner Before the Bar of Judgment

Fictional Treatments of the Southampton Insurrection

By Mary Kemp Davis  

 

An icon in African American history, Nat Turner has generated almost every kind of cultural product, including the historical, imaginative, scholarly, folk, polemical, and reflective. In Nat Turner Before the Bar of Judgment. Mary Kemp Davis  offers an original, in-depth analysis of six novels in which Turner figures prominently.

This Virginia rebel, she argues, has been re-arraigned, retried, and re-sentenced repeatedly during the last century and a half as writers have grappled with the social and moral issues raised by his infamous 1831 revolt.

Though usually lacking a literal, the novels Davis examines all have the theme of judgment at their center, and she ingeniously unravels the "verdict" each author extracts from or her plot.

Davis begins by dismantling the historical scaffolding that surrounds her subject. She decodes Virginia governor John Floyd's "official' assessment of the revolt, which, she says, exemplifies the dialogism between the earlier texts about the rebellion and the incipient novel tradition.

She also considers three classes of documents that triangulate the trial trope: court records, selected newspaper accounts, and Thomas Gray's seminal work, The Confessions of Nat Turner (1831).

The remainder of her study treats in expansive detail the six novels:

The Old Dominion, or The Southampton Massacre (1856), by the English historical novelist George Payne Rainsford James;

Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856), by Harriet Beecher Stowe;

Homoselle (1881), by Mary Spear Tieman;

Their Shadows Before: A Story of the Southampton Insurrection (1899), by Pauline Carrington Rust Bouve;

Ol' Prophet Nat (1967), by Daniel Panger; and best known,

The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), by William Styron.

Discussion of Dessa Rose (1986), Sherley Anne William's response to Styron's novel, shapes the conclusion.

According to Davis, all of the novelists derive their fundamental understanding about Turner from Gray's overdetermined text, but they recreate it in their own image

In this fictional tradition that begins with a nineteenth-century romance and ends with postmodern revisions of the form, Davis shows the turner persona to be multivalent and inherently unstable, each novelist laboring mightily and futilely to arrest it within the confines of art.

--Fred Hobson, Editor, Southern Literary Studies

Source: Nat Turner Before the Bar of Judgment

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Books on Nathaniel Turner  (1800-1831)

     The Manichean Leitmotif by Arthur Graham

    Nat Turner A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory by Kenneth Greenberg

     Nat Turner Before the Bar of Judgment by Mary Kemp Davis

     Nat Turner's Tragic Search  by Catherine Hermary-Vielle

     The Rebellious Slave Nat Turner in American Memory by Scot French

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Nathaniel Turner TimeLine  / 1831 Confessions     /  Sonnets in Memory of Nathaniel Turner (Rudolph Lewis)

Nathaniel Turner: Christian Martyrdom in Southampton: A Theology of Black Liberation (Rudolph Lewis)

Nat Turner in History's Multiple Mirrors  (Felecia R. Lee, NYTimes)  /  Hatcher Plans to Exhibit Turner Skull

 

Insurrection Of The Blacks Niles’ Register  Sept. 3 1831  Sept. 10, 1831  Sept 17, 1831

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

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#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

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#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

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#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
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#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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update 21 April 2012

 

 

 

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