and numerous others across the globe, to expand and extend the discursive unbinding of blackness, to ultimately free it from any vestiges of delimiting conventions of signification. Thus, the first part of the symposium title, redeployed here to contextualize these essays, suggests the emancipatory resonances associated with blackness as an idiom of deconstructive discourse and as a marker for the discursive reclamation of the New World imaginary in its post-emancipation and postcolonial reconfiguration. The phrase blackness unbound conjures up unharnessed blackness in the Caribbean and Latin America, indeed, in the Americas, as a post-emancipation and postcolonial marker of resistance, struggle, revolution, and liberation. Such blackness, like the fable of Prometheusâs fire, exists simultaneously as a signifier of destructiveness and constructiveness, a conjoining of opposites such as that observed, for example, in the contradictoriness of Billie Holidayâs sweet lamentation, âStrange Fruit.â In Holidayâs rendition, we recall, by means of her sad tranquillity, the haunting beauty of the blues delivery conjoined with lyrics (by Lewis Allen) that proffer a weirdly organic reproduction and harvesting of lynched black bodies hanging from poplar trees in the southern United States. The second part of the title, interrogating transnational blackness, is meant to signal
Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2009
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