February 29, 2024 · University of Virginia

Choking Down that Rage: Rage, Rape, Riot and the Gender Politics of Black Resistance

Abstract segment: "James Baldwin famously stated, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all of the time.” Baldwin identifies what Cornel West describes as the “existential dimension of black rage,” which suggests that rage is a key means of mediating blacks’ relationship to the physical and psychic violence of racism (100). I build on Baldwin’s understanding of the significance of rage to black life in my dissertation, “Choking Down that Rage”: Rage, Rape, Riot and the Gender Politics of Black Resistance. My project asserts that rage is an affective register through which black writers negotiate gender, identity, and national belonging. My argument breaks with the more commonly accepted perspective that black rage is a marker of pathology and is the property of the black male underclass."
Shermaine Jones
University of Virginia
Deborah McDowell
Marlon Ross
Mrinalini Chakravorty
Claudrena Harold
Department of English
Date Added November 5, 2016
Date Modifed October 17, 2017
Collection UVA scholarship on sexual violence, 1974-

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