Louis O Chude-Sokei
The Newly Black Americans: Modern and Contemporary Black Immigrant Writing.
Much of the attention to American immigrant literature has tended to define the category of immigrant in ways that exclude black writers who have arrived in America from the early 20th century to the current moment. These are not marginal figures: they have had a major impact on American literature and cultural politics and have always been central to the various conversations and debates about race, racial formation, Diaspora, colonialism and assimilation. They have been, however, read through a lens shaped by American racial priorities and via critical techniques that reduce them to the privileged black/white binary that guides American racial discourse. Because the political priorities and aesthetic concerns of these writers are often quite distinct from what was and has become conventional or institutionalized notions of race, culture, or criticism, this class focuses on how these writers in fact challenge, complicate and update what has come to be known as â€śblackâ€? in America. Using a selection of American writers originally from the Caribbean, Europe, England or Africa our goal is to study their distinct perspectives and historical frameworks, which emerge from a unique positionâ€”in between (at least) two distinct Americas, one African-American and one white.
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