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Heroism and the Black Intellectual
Author: Jerry Gafio Watts

ISBN: 9780807844779
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 170
Published: 13 October 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6 x 1.2
Description:
Before and after writing "Invisible Man," novelist and essayist Ralph Ellison fought to secure a place as a black intellectual in a white-dominated society. In this sophisticated analysis of Ellison's cultural politics, Jerry Watts examines the ways in which black artists and thinkers attempt to establish creative intellectual spaces for themselves. Using Ellison as a case study, Watts makes important observations about the role of black intellectuals in America today.

Watts argues that black intellectuals have had to navigate their way through a society that both denied them the resources, status, and encouragement available to their white peers and alienated them from the rest of their ethnic group. For Ellison to pursue meaningful intellectual activities in the face of this marginalization demanded creative heroism, a new social and artistic stance that challenges cultural stereotypes.

For example, Ellison first created an artistic space for himself by associating with Communist party literary circles, which recognized the value of his writing long before the rest of society was open to his work. In addition, to avoid prescrip...

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