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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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Renegotiating Racial Discourse

Renegotiating Racial Discourse

The Blues, Black Feminist Thought, and Post–Civil Rights Literary Renewal in Gayl Jones’s Corregidora

(p.165) Chapter 7 Renegotiating Racial Discourse
Black Cultural Production after Civil Rights

Jermaine Singleton

University of Illinois Press

Published in 1975, Gayl Jones’s Corregidora emerged amid the onset of post-civil rights era politics of black respectability and neoliberal ideology and policies that rendered black communities and bodies paradoxically more “public” and “private.” This essay posits Jones’s novel as a corrective to these ideological and existential binds. Thinking through psychoanalytic theories of mourning and melancholia, queer of color theories of identity formation, and the work of black feminist scholars, this essay explores how Jones draws on the blues aesthetic to fashion a novel that accounts for the process of racial subject formation at the intersections of buried social memory and ongoing practices of racialization and underscores the individualistic contours of racial identity without stabilizing hegemonic discourses of racial ideology.

Keywords:   blues, mourning and melancholia, racial subject formation, racial ideology, racial conservativism, post-civil rights era, respectability politics, neoliberal ideology, racial identity, black feminist

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