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Living with LynchingAfrican American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930$
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Koritha Mitchell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036491

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036491.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

The Black Mother/Wife

The Black Mother/Wife

Negotiating Trauma

(p.147) Chapter Five The Black Mother/Wife
Living with Lynching

Koritha Mitchell

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on plays written by Georgia Douglas Johnson in the late 1920s as she hosted a literary salon in her Washington, D.C., home. These texts present the black mother/wife, whose existence is shaped by attempts to delay death. In Blue Blood, she prevents the murder of the men in her family by hiding the fact that she has been raped by a powerful white man. In Safe, she becomes desperate to avoid what she believes to be the inevitable fate of her newborn son: humiliating death at the hands of a mob. In Blue-Eyed Black Boy, she protects her adult son, but ultimately her success in stopping the mob underscores her family's vulnerability. In short, Johnson shows that the black mother/wife must forge romantic and parental bonds in a society that allows white men to rape black women and kill black men with impunity.

Keywords:   black mother, black wife, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Blue Blood, Blue-Eyed Black Boy, Safe, parental bonds

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