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On Racial Frontiers

On Racial Frontiers
The New Culture of Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and Bob Marley


  • Date Published: July 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521643931

£ 24.99

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About the Authors
  • Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison and Bob Marley each inhabited the shared but contested space at the frontiers of race. Gregory Stephens shows how their interactions with mixed audiences made them key figures in a previously hidden interracial consciousness and culture, and integrative ancestors who can be claimed by more than one 'racial' or national group. Douglass ('something of an Irishman as well as a Negro') was an abolitionist but also a critic of black racialism. Ellison's Invisible Man is a landmark of modernity and black literature which illustrates 'the true interrelatedness of blackness and whiteness'. Marley's allegiance was to 'God's side, who cause me to come from black and white'. His Bible-based Songs of Freedom envisage a world in which black liberation and multiracial redemption co-exist. The lives of these three men illustrate how our notions of 'race' have been constructed out of a repression of the interracial.

    • Reading of lives of major black cultural heroes Douglass, Ellison and Marley
    • Combines cultural and political analysis and draws on author's personal history in interracial context and in music industry
    • Major contribution to ethnic and cultural studies which also dares to confront political and educational challenges for multiracial democracies
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521643931
    • length: 342 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Interraciality in historical context
    2. Frederick Douglass as integrative ancestor: the consequences of interracial co-creation
    3. Invisible community: Ralph Ellison's vision of a multiracial ideal democracy
    4. Bob Marley's Zion: a trans-racial 'blackman redemption'.

  • Author

    Gregory Stephens, University of California, San Diego

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