The Black Atlantic
Modernity and Double-Consciousness
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Year Published: 1995
Pages: 280pp ISBN: 9780674076068
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX21169
Paul Gilroy explains that there exists a black Atlantic culture whose themes and techniques transcend ethnicity and nationality. The book challenges the practices and assumptions of cultural studies and enriches our understanding of modernism.
Publisher's Description: Debates about postmodernism have cast an unfashionable pall over questions of historical periodization. Gilroy bucks this trend by arguing that the development of black culture in the Americas arid Europe is a historical experience which can be called modern for a number of clear and specific reasons. For Hegel, the dialectic of master and slave was integral to modernity, and Gilroy considers the implications of this idea for a transatlantic culture. In search of a poetics reflecting the politics and history of this culture, he takes us on a transatlantic tour of the music that, for centuries, has transmitted racial messages and feeling around the world, from the Jubilee Singers in the nineteenth century to Jimi Hendrix to rap. He also explores this internationalism as it is manifested in black writing from the "double consciousness" of W.E.B. Du Bois to the "double vision" of Richard Wright to the compelling voice of Toni Morrison.