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Description - "Born in a Mighty Bad Land" by Jerry H. Bryant

The figure of the violent man in the African American imagination has a long history. He can be found in 19th-century bad man ballads like "Stagolee" and "John Hardy", as well as in the black convict recitations that influence "gangsta" rap. This book connects this figure with similar characters in African American fiction. Many writers - McKay and Hurston in the Harlem Renaissance; Wright, Baldwin and Ellison in the 1940s and 1950s; Himes in the 1950s and 1960s saw the "bad nigger" as an archetypal figure in the black imagination and psyche. "Blaxploitation" novels in the 1970s made him a virtually mythical character. More recently, Mosley, Wideman and Morrison have presented him as ghetto philosopher and cultural adventurer. Behind the folklore and fiction, many theories have been proposed to explain the source of the bad man's intra-racial violence. Jerry H. Bryant explores all of these elements in a wide-ranging look at one of the most misunderstood figures in African American culture.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780253215789
ISBN-10: 0253215781
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Indiana University Press
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publish Date: 3-Apr-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Jerry H. Bryant

Jerry H. Bryant is Emeritus Professor of English at California State University.