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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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Many Dark Mirrors in Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices

Many Dark Mirrors in Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices

(p.247) 15 Many Dark Mirrors in Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices
The Politics of Richard Wright

Perry S. Moskowitz

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter by Perry S. Moskowitz examines the politics of Richard Wright’s textual practices in 12 Million Black Voices. In particular, it focuses on how Wright responds to being tasked with representing a transhistorical and universal account of the black experience. Rather than use his position as a prominent black intellectual to authorize this account, Wright employs literary montage to invite other textual agents to contest the singularity and credibility of his narrative. Through montage, Wright exposes his reader to the white supremacist logics of representation that entrust him to serve as a delegate for a collective black narrative. Moreover, Wright uses montage to propose a counterpolitics of representation—one that values decentralized representative authority in order to stress the inconsistency and multiplicity that accompanies political representation.

Keywords:   Representation, 12 Million Black Voices, textual politics, literary montage, photography, Walter Benjamin

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