Reshaping Beloved Community

ebook The Experiences of Black Male Felons and Their Impact on Black Radical Traditions · The Africana Experience and Critical Leadership Studies

By Marlon A. Smith

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Reshaping Beloved Community: The Experiences of Black Male Felons and Their Impact on Black Radical Traditions offers a reflexive interrogation on the history of black male incarceration in the United States starting in the nineteenth century to both illustrate the complex ways black male felons have been discursively constructed and the various techniques utilized in the United States to erase the contributions of black male felons and their black radical projects. This erasure has left many black men without the benefit of fellowship and community.
Therefore, Reshaping Beloved Community focuses on particular black male felons and their cultural production to highlight experiences of blackness that is often marginalized or ignored. In order to characterize these experiences and contributions of black male felons, Reshaping Beloved Community expands Victor Anderson's definition of creative exchange by offering contemplative conversations of black male felons in history and the cultural works they produced. It draws on an interdisciplinary approach to reveal how some black male felons have used prison and the experience of incarceration to craft narratives and liberation movements.
The philosophical approach within Reshaping Beloved Community deploys constructive and innovative concepts, particularly of the grotesque, to interpret how black male felons have resisted American political and cultural restraints on their humanity. Anderson's concepts of creative exchange help create a framework that enables readers to see how the cultural production of black male felons reveals the unique experiences and worldview of black men trapped in various forms of penal captivity. These experiences speak to a deeper reality that is largely hidden because of the ways incarceration and penal captivity diminishes certain people in society. Yet a reengagement with those movements helps to link black male felons to the whole of black life and culture.
In the end, Reshaping Beloved Community allows black radical scholars to gain deeper insight into the roles black male felons have played in critiquing American politics and culture. Moreover, it shows that the cultural productions of black male felons are just as important to understanding black life in American society as slave narratives, blues music, and the like.

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Reshaping Beloved Community