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Black Cultural Production after Civil Rights$
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Robert J. Patterson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042775

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042775.001.0001

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Dreams Reimagined

Dreams Reimagined

Political Possibilities and the Black Cultural Imagination

(p.1) Introduction Dreams Reimagined
(p.iii) Black Cultural Production after Civil Rights

Robert J. Patterson

University of Illinois Press

This essay argues that black cultural production responded to the progression-regression paradox of black politics—political progress on the one hand and obstructions to that progress on the other—by employing pragmatic political imaginative possibility (PPIP). In response to neoliberalism, black masculinist politics, slavery’s legacies, intraracial gender antagonisms, and anti-civil rights backlash, black cultural production uses PPIP to provide a radical solution to various obstructions to black freedom. The chapter foregrounds the black women’s literary renaissance as central to this artistic trend, demonstrating how it, alongside other modes of cultural expression, imagines how to make our world anew. The introduction insists that these artistic solutions require us to think outside of the existing sociopolitical order, using our imaginations to achieve freedom.

Keywords:   pragmatic, sociopolitical, African American literature, black progress, neoliberalism, retrenchment, slavery, black arts, black feminism, civil rights

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