African American Travel Narratives from Abroad: Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim Crow by Gary TottenAfrican American Travel Narratives from Abroad: Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim Crow by Gary Totten

African American Travel Narratives from Abroad: Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim Crow

byGary Totten

Paperback | June 5, 2015

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During the Jim Crow era, African American travelers faced the prospects of violence, harassment, and the denial of services, especially as they made their way throughout the American South. Those who journeyed outside the United States found not only a political and social context that was markedly different from America's, but in their international mobility, they also discovered new ways of identifying themselves in relation to others.

In this book, Gary Totten examines the global travel narratives of a diverse set of African American writers, including Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Matthew Henson, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Zora Neale Hurston. While these writers deal with issues of identity in relation to a reimagined sense of self - in a way that we might expect to find in travel narratives - they also push against the constraints and conventions of the genre, reconsidering discourses of tourism, ethnography, and exploration. This book not only offers new insights about African American writers and mobility, it also charts the ideological distinctions and divergent agendas within this group of writers. Totten demonstrates how these travelers and their writings challenged dominant ideologies about African American experience, expression, and identity in a period of escalating racial violence. By setting these texts in their historical context and within the genre of travel writing, Totten presents a nuanced understanding of both popular and recovered work of the period.
Gary Totten is professor of English at North Dakota State University. He is editor of Memorial Boxes and Guarded Interiors: Edith Wharton and Material Culture and editor-in-chief of the journal MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States.
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Title:African American Travel Narratives from Abroad: Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim CrowFormat:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:June 5, 2015Publisher:University of Massachusetts PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:162534161X

ISBN - 13:9781625341617

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Totten does an excellent job demonstrating how the mobility of authors represented in these narratives in most cases cuts against centuries of systematic political, economic, and social immobilization of African Americans as a result of the Atlantic Slave Trade, centuries of chattel slavery in the U.S., and decades of Jim Crow segregation. This study makes a valuable and original contribution to the 'spatial turn' in American literary and cultural studies." - John C. Charles Williamson, author of Abandoning the Black Hero: Sympathy and Privacy in the Postwar African American White-Life Novel