Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Reviewed on H-NET, Humanities & Social Sciences Online
A traditional historian provides a substantial review of Living with Lynching for H-Net, covering nearly every chapter in some detail. Highlights include:
"...Living with Lynching provides an emphatic push to change how we understand, write about, and teach the phenomenon of lynching."
"Living with Lynching does many things well. Historians will note that Mitchell has joined Davarian Baldwin (Chicago’s New Negroes: Modernity, the Great Migration, and Black Urban Life ) in geographically decentering the Harlem Renaissance. Her emphasis on a cadre of Washington DC playwrights makes clear the national flourishing of black arts and letters in the interwar period. Moreover, Mitchell’s choice to focus on lynching dramas as a product of the black community that reaffirmed its values and goals pushes historical analysis away from a simple interpretation of black cultural production as a 'protest art' in response to white oppression."
"Living with Lynching is a well-written, well-researched piece of scholarship that will hold great value for historians studying black life in the interwar period, the Harlem Renaissance, and the phenomenon of lynching. It pushes beyond the frozen in time image of the mutilated black body to the impact of lynching on the black household. Living with Lynching makes clear how African Americans in this period combated stereotyped images by reinforcing and performing 'how they saw themselves' and 'who they believed themselves to be' (p. 199)."
Full review HERE.