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The Politics of Richard WrightPerspectives on Resistance$
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Jane Anna Gordon and Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813175164

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813175164.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 19 February 2020

Richard Wright’s Mission

Richard Wright’s Mission

Initiating a Politics of the Human

(p.86) 5 Richard Wright’s Mission
The Politics of Richard Wright

Marilyn Nissim-Sabat

University Press of Kentucky

Some readers of Wright’s work have criticized him for failing to portray healthy human connection or solidarity. In her chapter, Marilyn Nissim-Sabbat maintains that Wright was deeply aware that people could only live as human beings through meaningful relations with one another. Wright understood both that the human need for solidarity runs deep and that the ability to forge it can be damaged. Without such solidarity, alienation from oneself and others will crush “Bigger” and Bigger-like characters on the South Side of Chicago and globally. Wright therefore championed the healing made possible by qualitatively enlarging our lived-experience of and with one another. Essential to articulating and acting on this need is a critical theory of transcendence that is implicit in Wright’s work. Such a theory emerges in this essay through a critique of Simone de Beauvoir’s views on identity politics and cross-group identity in The Second Sex as contrasted with parallel discussions by Wright in Native Son.

Keywords:   Wright, humanness, relationality, connectedness, transcendence, Simone de Beauvoir, identity, politics, method

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