Publisher description for James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and the rhetorics of black male subjectivity / Aaron Ngozi Oforlea.

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In_James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and the Rhetorics of Black Male Subjectivity, Aaron Ngozi Oforlea explores the rhetorical strategies that Baldwin's and Morrison's black male characters employ as they negotiate discourses of race, class, gender, and sexuality. According to Oforlea, these characters navigate a discursive divide that separates limiting representations of black males in dominant discourses from a decolonized and empowered subjectivity. Specifically, the discursive divide creates an invisible boundary between how black subjects are seen, imagined, and experienced in dominant culture on the one hand, and how they understand themselves on the other.
Oforlea's book offers new analyses of the character dynamics in Baldwin's_Go Tell It on the Mountain,_Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone, and_If Beale Street Could Talkand Morrison's_Beloved,_Song of Solomon, and_Tar Baby. The black male characters in these novels encounter the discursive divide, or a cultural dissonance, when they encounter dominant representations of black male identities. They use these opportunities to construct a counter-discourse about black male subjectivity. Ultimately, Oforlea argues, these characters are strategic about when and how they want to appropriate and subvert dominant ideologies. Their awareness that post-racial discourses perpetuate racial inequality serves as a gateway toward participation in collective struggles for racial justice.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
American fiction -- African American authors -- History and criticism.
Baldwin, James, -- 1924-1987 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Morrison, Toni -- Criticism and interpretation.
African American men in literature.
Subjectivity in literature.
Masculinity in literature.