Matching Items (3)

157969-Thumbnail Image.png

The March Continues: The Subversive Rhetoric of John Lewis's Graphic Memoir

Description

While the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s is one of the most famous and celebrated parts of American history, rhetoric scholars have illuminated the ways

While the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s is one of the most famous and celebrated parts of American history, rhetoric scholars have illuminated the ways this subversive movement has been manipulated beyond recognition over time. These narrative constructions play a role in preserving what Maegan Parker Brooks calls the "conservative master narrative of civil rights history," a narrative that diminishes the work of activists while simultaneously promoting complacency to prevent any challenge to the white supremacist hegemony. This dissertation argues that the graphic memoir trilogy March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell challenges this conservative master narrative through visual rhetoric, in particular through the comics techniques "braiding" and "weaving."

Braiding occurs when authors create "webs of interrelation" (Miodrag 134) by repeating a technique throughout the text, which can sometimes involve a secondary narrative (Groensteen). Braids are associations in the network of panels of the comic that go beyond the parameters of strictly linear storytelling as panels echo those the reader has encountered before. The braids in March compare the past and present through a direct juxtaposition of January 20, 2009—the inauguration day of Barack Obama—with John Lewis' activism from 1959 to 1965. While this juxtaposition risks reinforcing a progress narrative that suggests racism is in the past, in fact, the braided inauguration scenes help the reader connect the moments of the past with their present, calling to mind the ways white supremacy endures in contemporary America. Weaving refers to the reader’s action of moving back and forth in the comics narrative to create meaning, and artists use techniques that facilitate this behavior, such as leaving out or minimizing significant cues and creating a sense of ambiguity that leads the reader to become curious about the events in the sequence. Weaving can disrupt an easy linear narrative of depicted events—such as Fannie Lou Hamer's testimony at the Democratic National Convention—as artists present several opportunities for the reader to interpret these stories in ways that challenge a conservative master narrative of the events in the trilogy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

150712-Thumbnail Image.png

Literate practices in women's memoirs of the civil rights movement

Description

ABSTRACT This dissertation examines the literate practices of women reading and writing in the press during the civil rights movement in the 1950s/60s. Through a textual analysis of literacy events

ABSTRACT This dissertation examines the literate practices of women reading and writing in the press during the civil rights movement in the 1950s/60s. Through a textual analysis of literacy events (Heath) in the memoirs of Sarah Patton Boyle (The Desegregated Heart: A Virginian's Stand in Time of Transition), Anne Braden (The Wall Between), Daisy Bates (The Long Shadow of Little Rock) and Melba Pattillo Beals (Warriors Don't Cry), this dissertation highlights the participatory roles women played in the movement, including their ability to act publicly in a movement remembered mostly for its male leaders. Contributing to scholarship focused on the literate lives of women, this study focuses on the uses of literacy in the lives of four women with particular emphasis on the women's experiences with the literacy they practice. Drawing on ideological views of literacy (Gee, Street) and research focused on the social, cultural and economic influences of such practices (Brandt), the women's memoirs served as the site for collecting and analyzing the women's responses and reactions to literacy events with the press. Through an application of Deborah Brandt's notion of sponsor, literacy events between the women and the press were recorded and the data analyzed to understand the relationship the women had with the literacy available and the role the sponsor (the press) played in shaping the practice and the literate identities of the women. Situated in the racist climate of the Jim Crow South in the 1950s/60s and the secondary role women played in the movement, the women's memoirs and the data analyzed revealed the role the women's perception of the practice, shaped by personal history and lived experiences, played in how the women experienced and used their literacy. This dissertation argues that their responses to literacy events and their perceptions of the power of their reading and writing highlight the significant public role women played in the movement and argues that, although the women remain relatively unremembered participants of the movement, their memoirs act as artifacts of that time and proof of the meaningful public contributions women made to the movement.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

150349-Thumbnail Image.png

Autobiography as political resistance: Anne Moody's Coming of age in Mississippi

Description

ABSTRACT This dissertation focuses on Anne Moody's use of the autobiographical genre as an extension of her political activism. Noting consistent values and conventions that govern the writing of political

ABSTRACT This dissertation focuses on Anne Moody's use of the autobiographical genre as an extension of her political activism. Noting consistent values and conventions that govern the writing of political activists, this study asserts that Moody's narrative is best situated in the genre of political autobiography--a term coined by Angela Davis. Using Margo V. Perkins' text as a base to define autobiography as activism, this dissertation illustrates the consistent values that characterize Moody's narrative as political autobiography, resistance literature, and ultimately Black Power literature. Building on the works of Joanne Braxton, Patricia Hill Collins, Angela Davis, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, bell hooks, Margo V. Perkins, Assata Shakur, and Johnny Stover, this project demonstrates the use of Moody's autobiography as a collective form of resistance that is reflective of autobiography as activism. To frame its argument, this study theorizes how one comes into revolutionary consciousness, demonstrating the move toward activism as a process. Drawing on Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson's autobiographical theory that the "narrated I" is distinguished from the "narrating I," this study asserts, as Francoise Lionnet suggests, that the "narrating I" is the vehicle to deliver recollections relevant to the autobiographer's agenda. This study emphasizes that the early version of the self Moody creates is consciously linked to her role as a future activist, ultimately demonstrating her political evolution through the emphatic linking of the personal and political. Most importantly, this dissertation demonstrates that Moody's text represents a continuity--an autobiographical bridge--between representations of the Christian nonviolent civil rights movement and the Black Power movement of the late 1960's. This study argues that Moody's autobiography is ideologically poised at the intersection of civil rights and Black Power; therefore, it serves as both a civil rights autobiography and a Black Power autobiography. Coming of Age in Mississippi offers a unique contribution to the genre of Black Power autobiography for the way it facilitates unprecedented insight into the transition from non-violent civil rights ideology to revolutionary consciousness.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011