Reading Pleasures : Everyday Black Living in Early America (New Black Studies Series) (Paperback)

Reading Pleasures : Everyday Black Living in Early America (New Black Studies Series) By Tara A. Bynum Cover Image
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In the early United States, a Black person committed an act of resistance simply by reading and writing. Yet we overlook that these activities also brought pleasure. Tara A. Bynum tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free. The poet Phillis Wheatley delights in writing letters to a friend. Ministers John Marrant and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw memorialize their love for God. David Walker’s pamphlets ask Black Americans to claim their victory over slavery. Together, their writings reflect the joyous, if messy, humanity inside each of them. This proof of a thriving interior self in pursuit of good feeling forces us to reckon with the fact that Black lives do matter.

A daring assertion of Black people’s humanity, Reading Pleasures reveals how four Black writers experienced positive feelings and analyzes the ways these emotions served creative, political, and racialized ends.

About the Author

Tara A. Bynum is an assistant professor of English and African American studies at the University of Iowa.

Praise For…

“Sit down, read this book, and become a changed reader, scholar, and human. Sit down, and learn from Tara Bynum about worlds of Black experience--joy, longing, pleasure--beyond the white gaze. Through her brilliant literary research and reading of early African American literature, Bynum achieves the full humanity that a viciously segregated, racialized world denies all of us: some in body, some in understanding and spirit. In so doing, this book exemplifies what the humanities should be all about.”--Joanna Brooks, author of Why We Left: Untold Songs and Stories of America's First Immigrants
Product Details
ISBN: 9780252086830
ISBN-10: 025208683X
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication Date: January 10th, 2023
Pages: 184
Language: English
Series: New Black Studies Series


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