Love and Marriage: The Politics of Family in Black Popular Fiction
Henderson, Aneeka A.
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Through a close reading of Black popular romance of the 1980s and '90s, my dissertation contends that intimacy becomes increasingly politicized after the demise of organizations such as the Black Panther Party and National Black Feminist Organization in the late 1970s and early '80s. Scholarship often identifies the 1980s and '90s as the Post-Civil Rights era, but my project recasts this period as the "Post-Black Power era" because Black popular fiction uses courtship to negotiate the patriarchal assumptions that underlie Black Power nostalgia. As I focus on popular romance's negotiation of Black Power nostalgia, I also examine the formal strategies of this new genre. Courtship conventions linked to the romance tradition merge with Black women's thematic concern for domestic conflict in Black popular romance. This union allows the novels to build anticipation for marriage, but ultimately abandon the romance genre's "Reader, I married him" finale.
SubjectAfrican American Literature
Black Power Movement
Date available in INDIGO2012-12-10T19:59:47Z